By Murodjon Kenjebaev from Uzbekistan
During my 6 years of studying in China, I’ve been taken good care of by my Chinese friends and teachers. China, where I met my wife, is my second home.
I was extremely anxious when the novel coronavirus epidemic broke out, and immediately purchased a large number of medical masks with the money I earned from scholarships and part-time job, and sent them from my hometown Guliston in east Uzbekistan to Guangzhou, spending around a dozen hours on the flight. The overweight baggage cost even more than the flight ticket.
This earned me an award and 20,000 yuan ($2807.33) from a public welfare program by China’s Alibaba Group and the Information Times, a local newspaper. At that time, my wife, who applied for a second Chinese teaching site in Guliston for students from grade 5 to grade 11, was informed that her application was approved by local government. Without hesitation, we invested the money into the decoration of the classrooms, textbooks and other teaching materials. To have more Uzbek people study Chinese and experience the charm of the Chinese culture is a shared hope of us.
After learning that a joint working team from China was to arrive in Tashkent on April 17 to assist my country’s efforts to fight COVID-19, I volunteered to work as an interpreter for the Chinese experts on the team and their Uzbek counterparts.
To fulfill this honored task, I made full preparation. I studied medical knowledge as much as I could, accumulated relevant medical vocabularies in both Uzbek and Chinese, practiced interpreting, and consulted one of my teachers in my alma mater, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, who once interpreted for the Chinese medical team aiding Iraq on fighting the COVID-19 disease.
It was not easy to expand my medical vocabularies within such a short time. However, I must go all out.
During a dozen days, the Chinese medical experts and I visited tens of medical facilities in over half of Uzbekistan’s states and cities, leaving our footsteps on all the hardest-hit areas. We also communicated with the research institute of epidemiology, microbiology and infectious diseases, the national emergency medical center and designated hospitals on prevention and treatment experience, held consultation for patients in severe conditions, and donated medical supplies and materials.
I always consulted the Chinese experts in detail to ensure the accuracy of my translation, and they would patiently explain for me to help me better understand what they were saying.
Working 12 hours a day was extremely exhausting, both mentally and physically. But I found my work rewarding when I saw the Chinese medical experts working around the clock.
In the face of the pandemic, the international community is strengthening cooperation to safeguard public health security. I was proud to be part of it as a volunteer. It is the highest honor that enabled me to overcome all the fatigue.
Recently, a major collapse has occurred in the dam of Sardoba Reservoir in Uzbekistan, causing extensive flooding. To help the local people, staff members of the Chinese Embassy in Uzbekistan and teachers and students in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies donated supplies for them.
The kind act is another touching chapter of mutual help between the two countries, and once again proves that if you treat others sincerely, you will be treated sincerely in turn.
I am confident that if the international community stays united and countries help each other, people of the world will overcome the huge challenges imposed by the disease.
(Interviewed and compiled by Jing Yi, People’s Daily)
Murodjon Kenjebaev (first on the right) poses for a photograph with the experts on a joint working team from China in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan on April 19. Photo: Courtesy of Murodjon Kenjebaev
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