CAIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Rawda Ahmed Ali Al-Shawadfy, an 18-year-old Egyptian girl who loves painting, has never imagined that one of her works could embark on a long journey to the space and float around inside China's Tiangong Space Station.
Shawadfy's artwork was selected as one of the 10 paintings taken by Chinese astronauts into space in May. The painting, titled "China Is Africa's Hope Toward Space," vividly depicts two astronauts, one Chinese and one African, shaking hands on the moon's surface, signifying the close bond between China and African countries as well as their shared dream for space exploration.
"It's an indescribable feeling of pride and sheer happiness to see my painting exhibited in space by Chinese astronauts. Such competitions and activities bring us closer to the Chinese culture," she said.
Shawadfy took part in a painting contest that began in March, which received over 2,000 artworks from 42 African countries, including Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Cameroon, Chad, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
In May, the Shenzhou-16 spaceship carried 10 selected artworks to the Chinese space station, where three Chinese astronauts showcased them to children and youths in Africa via video link during a special award ceremony on Wednesday.
Shawadfy witnessed the award ceremony in Cairo, along with many Egyptian children. Chinese astronauts, from their space station, expressed their admiration for the artworks created by African teenagers who participated in the competition titled "My Dream," highlighting Chinese-African space cooperation.
The event in Egypt was also attended by Chinese Ambassador Liao Liqiang and CEO of the Egyptian Space Agency Sherif Sedky.
During the ceremony, the Chinese ambassador said the popularity of the competition among Egyptian youth reflects their high hopes and best wishes for the future of Chinese-Egyptian cooperation in space endeavors.
"China and Egypt have succeeded in implementing a number of joint win-win projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative to serve the interests of the two countries and the two peoples," Liao continued, stressing that the Chinese-Egyptian cooperation in the field of space "has achieved fruitful achievements."
For his part, Sedky said the competition has successfully connected Chinese astronauts with African teenagers.
He also noted that space cooperation plays a "pivotal part in the strategic, long-term partnership and friendship between Egypt and China."
China and Egypt have been actively pushing forward their cooperation in space endeavors.
In June, two China-funded prototype satellites of the MisrSat II satellite project were delivered to the Egyptian side, making Egypt the first African country with the capacity to assemble, integrate, and test satellites.
"The Egyptian-Chinese partnership has been brought to fruition by the establishment and the commissioning of the satellite Assembly, Integration and Testing Center, the largest in Africa and the Middle East," Sedky added. ■