On the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China: Youth is the future
Straight Talk

Editor's note: The year 2022 marks the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC). For every country in the world, the importance of youth is self-evident. Youth, to some extent, is a significant indicator of a country's future performance. Adham Sayed is an assistant professor and researcher at the China-Arab BRI Research Center at Zhejiang Gongshang University and the author of the book "This is How it was in Wuhan, Diaries of Quarantine Days." The opinions expressed in the video are his own and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

CGTN: What is the difference between youth in China and in Lebanon?

Adham Sayed: Look, one of (the) different points is that, in my country, young people are afraid about daily life. They are afraid about how to go to university, from where I will get money to go to university, if the university opens today or (is) closed, because political problems, because economic problems. Is there electricity (for me) to study or not? Is there a job after I graduate or not? They are (worried) about the future, about today. It's not a stable and healthy life for them to think about the future. Of course, young people in my country, they are pretty productive and very good people, and they think about a very big future. But the problem is that the government doesn't offer them a good life to produce and to make themselves better. But here in China, students and young people, they are focusing about their future. Why? Because they don't have to care about today. There is a government which makes their lives, their daily life easy.

When I came from Lebanon, it was shocking for me. So now the electricity is not going to be cut, which is good, you know, the first time. A lot of things which I think the youth in China they don't think about, and they think that it should be like this. I think if they go outside, they will know that it's not that easy. If you have a good government, if you have people who are good at doing their job and have plans, you will find that your daily life, necessary things in your life, it's available.

The most important thing is that China is a very stable country, and it's safe. Safety is more important. Here, when we live for a long time in China, we forget about this because it's safe. But when you go out of China, you will feel how important this point is for you to be less stressful. For example, most of youth in Lebanon, they go out of Lebanon, but in China, no. You are thinking about your future, and you work hard to get this future. So, this means there is some… like… confidence and harmony between government plan, which the government makes, and the dream of the youths in China.

CGTN: Why did you choose to livestream the situation in Wuhan on Facebook back in 2020?

Adham Sayed: If you remember, before the pandemic, the United States already started a "war" against China, let's say, a "war" in media, a "trade war," (a "war") in Hong Kong, about Uygur Muslims. When the pandemic came, I was sure they wanted to use the pandemic to fight against China. At that time, WHO and the Chinese government they said "no need to go out of China, we're taking care of all people." But there were people who pushed other countries to do it just to show that China (couldn't) control the situation. So this is the first part.

The second part is that because I've lived in China, especially in Wuhan for five years. People there give me all what I need. When I need help, they give me everything. They give me (a chance to) study. They give me a safe life. They give me smiles all the time. So why did I have to leave them? I say if I want to stay in Wuhan, I should do something. But what can I do? Because it was during quarantine. On the fifth day, I started to write on Facebook about what was happening around us. I wrote a very long post and explained the situation.

When the lockdown started, I start to show the truth about China, the truth about Wuhan, what was really happening. For example, a lot of rumors spoke that people died in the streets; thousands of people died in the streets in Wuhan. So how you can explain (to) people that this (was) not right?

The easiest thing is that you take your phone and open live. And when live, you can't cut anything. It's live. I started to walk, to show people and to explain, the good things and the bad things. After Wuhan started to be under control, the situation under control, the virus started to spread out of China. But in my country and other Arab countries also, my role changed at that time. That is to explain how they can deal with this situation from our experience, how other people can learn from us. I think, and I hope also, that I did something good for people. Maybe we saved a lot of lives because we explain for them the situation based on the Chinese experience and also based on the science, against the rumors and the fake news.

CGTN: What is your advice for Chinese youth and young people in your country?

Adham Sayed: For Chinese students and the youth, you should continue believing that you can make your country better. You should work more to make this country better, because this is your place; this is your future here. Don't believe (it's not good for you to work hard). This is the only way to make your country better. Continue and understand your country more. Believe in yourself more.

For Arab youth, we should know more China, and we should make more relations with Chinese people to understand them. After that, we can take decisions. We can't take decisions before we know them directly. We can't hear about them from others, especially if those others are fighting (against) China. And we know how much this will hurt, because this is what foreign media did to us. They show us as terrorists. We are not like this. There're other terrorists who come to us to kill us. But we're very peaceful people. We want to live a good life. So we don't want to be part of this game, the game (in which) they tell us who are our enemies. No. China is not our enemy. Chinese people are not our enemies. We made a very peaceful relations with China thousand years ago till now. So to stay like this and to build a very better relationship, we have to understand China more.

Interviewer: She Ziyi

Managing editor: She Ziyi

Video editor: Feng Ran

Producers: Bi Jianlu, Zhang Peijin, Wang Xinyan

Supervisor: Mei Yan

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