Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah

“Where There’s a will, there’s a way”

Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah, (Pakistan): “When I first got to China I couldn’t say a word aside from nihao (hello) and xiexie (thank you), but now I have virtually no problem communicating with Chinese people”.

What’s China really like in the eyes of foreigners? Which parts of Chinese culture are the most attractive? What are their personal experiences while learning Chinese language? Are there any touching stories that happened to them during their stay in China? You will find the answers here. After reading the following stories, don’t you have the desire to pick up your pen and put down something in Chinese about things around you?

By Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah, Pakistan.
Sichuan Normal University Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship student

At the time, I was preparing for the college entrance exam and Pakistan military exam. As it had already been a year since my high school graduation, I was getting quite anxious, and was working hard. One day a relative of mine told me about the Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship. Although I was interested, I was not quite sure whether I would succeed in applying for it. So I just put in my application, and continued my preparations for the two exams.

Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah

In order to prepare for the Pakistan military exam, I would get up every day at 5:30, do my prayers, and go to the track for jogging and other exercises and then in the afternoon I’d go to my friend’s house, where every day we’d spend five or six hours preparing for the college entrance exam. Unfortunately, on the night before the military exam, my father told me that, for various reasons, I would not be able to take the test. That night I was really sad and frustrated, at a loss as to what to do. My family was really worried about me, but they didn’t know what to do to make me feel better. My mother told me, “This is your fate, and maybe it’s for the best.” I just lay in bed without saying anything. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. I kept thinking, “Is my fate really that bad? First I didn’t get into the university I wanted to, then I can’t take the military exam.” I kept blaming myself, and as my thoughts went on, eventually I fell asleep. The next day I still felt really down, unwilling to go exercise, nor to study for the exam at my friend’s house. Then I got a call; it was from the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi, asking me to take an interview the following day for the Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship.

Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah

So the next day I went to the interview venue. During the interview three teachers from China were sitting across from me, along with a Pakistani teacher who could speak Chinese. They asked some questions, then more and more, and the four teachers asking me questions at the same time made me feel really nervous. Sometimes, after hearing my responses, they’d discuss with each other in Chinese, and I thought they wouldn’t ask me anything else, but instead they started asking more questions, so I tried to answer all their questions calmly and confidently. Finally the 15-minute interview came to an end, and I felt it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. That evening I received the result, and I couldn’t believe my own eyes…I made it! Gradually I got everything else done, and it was time for me to leave Pakistan. As I was about to leave, my family, especially my mom, were sad to see me go, because I had never been so far away from them. But I could see that the smiles on their faces were full of hope. Their smiles were also telling me that I had to work hard, for myself, my family, and my home country.

“Pakistan and China are collaborating more and more now, and in particular the “Belt & Road” Initiative will boost economic development between the two countries, so that a lot of unemployed people will have jobs, and Pakistan will become more and more stable. Only with the “Belt & Road” Initiative would our “Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship class” be possible.”

With those goals in mind I arrived in China. I’m currently doing my undergraduate studies at Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu. Life here is great. It’s safe and comfortable. The administration staff all care about us, and the teachers are very diligent. Only the students from our Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship class passed the HSK IV test after eight months of study, which is a result of our teachers’ hard work. When I first got to China I couldn’t say a word aside from nihao (hello) and xiexie (thank you), but now I have virtually no problem communicating with Chinese people.

Muhammad Meeran Ali Shah

I would like to thank Confucius Institute for giving me such a life-changing opportunity and allowing me to see a bright future. Pakistan and China are collaborating more and more now, and in particular the “Belt & Road” Initiative will boost economic development between the two countries, so that a lot of unemployed people will have jobs, and Pakistan will become more and more stable. Only with the “Belt & Road” Initiative would our “Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries scholarship class” be possible.

I used to complain about my fate, but now what I want to say to my Pakistani friends is, “Lots of things will disappoint you. You may fail, but don’t give up. Don’t think about the end result. As long as you persevere, you will be successful.”


Confucius Institut Magazine 49

Published in Confucius Institute Magazine
Number 49.
 Volume II. March 2017.

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