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Feature: More young Yemenis learn Chinese for better future

SANAA, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese song echoed in a classroom in Sanaa, the capital of war-torn Yemen, where around 20 Chinese-learning schoolchildren were singing.

"I love to learn the Chinese language because it is very nice, important and I want to travel to China to complete my studies there," Karim al-Areqi, a student of the private Languages Model School in Sanaa, told Xinhua.

Teacher Mohammed al-Ansi, who studied the language in China and received a university degree, stressed the importance of learning the Chinese language.

"It is the language of the future and it is necessary for all generations to benefit from the tremendous scientific, industrial and economic development in China," he said.

Like many other private elementary and secondary schools in Yemen, the Chinese language is an essential part of the Languages Model School's curriculum, where the students study Chinese as actively as math and other science subjects.

Beside teaching in the school, al-Ansi also gives private lessons to businessmen, merchants, employees and others in Sanaa.

"In teaching the Chinese language, I succeeded in educating many people through an easy curriculum and in a simple and clear way that fits everyone," al-Ansi said proudly, stressing that teaching Chinese has definitely changed his life.

Al-Ansi hopes that Yemen and China will cooperate to establish centers and institutes for teaching the Chinese language in Yemen so that many young people can learn.

"I hope that a branch of the Confucius Institute could be established in Yemen to teach the language and spread the Chinese culture to many students and researchers who are interested in learning the Chinese culture and language," he said.

Many people in Yemen see that learning a foreign language may open a path of hope to a new life, such as getting a better job, increasing income and paving the way to a bright future in the country that has suffered from civil war for nearly five years.

Despite the bitterness of the conflict, the young Yemeni people are still actively engaged in their society, aspiring to permanent peace and development for their war-ravaged country.

Even before the fighting broke out in early 2015 between the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Arab world.

The war has left thousands of civilians dead and more than 3 million internally displaced. Its impact on the country's infrastructure has been devastating, with major overland routes and airports severely damaged.

[ Editor: WPY ]