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From grandfather to son: the Issa family's enduring affection for China

By Liu Kun in Wuhan and Zhou Huiying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-28 10:37

Mohammad Issa's grandfather (left) in China in 1972. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Mohammad Issa is thrilled because his mother and sister have come to China from Jordan to celebrate the Spring Festival with him and his wife's family in Wuhan, Hubei province. Issa has spent 15 years in China.

"My grandfather came to China in the 1970s for work and gained a deep appreciation for China," he said. "He was deeply impressed by his first visit. He said that his Chinese staff were meticulous and warmhearted."

"My father came to China in 1994," said Issa. "He studied in Beijing and later spent seven years in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, where he fell in love with the West Lake."

Under his father's influence, Issa came to Hangzhou in 2009 to learn Chinese at Zhejiang University. He was impressed by the unique cultural landscape of Hangzhou and the beautiful scenery of West Lake.

In 2012, Issa went to Wuhan to study electronic engineering. As a postgraduate student at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, he met his wife, Li Hualin, a native of Wuhan. They married in 2014.

After graduating in 2016, Issa and his wife settled in Wuhan, where they began international trade work and started a media company.

When discussing Wuhan's rapid development and construction, Issa couldn't help expressing his astonishment.

"Every day in Wuhan is different," he said. "Different from the traffic congestion in the past, there are developed subway systems in the city."

"There are also many beautiful and pleasant places, such as Optics Valley Walking Street," he added.

Apart from the rapid changes in Wuhan, the transformation of Chinese rural areas also surprised Issa.

"I remember when I went to a village in Anhui several years ago. The roads were not well built, and we didn't dare to drive, but when I went there again recently, it was completely different," he said. "The village has been well developed, with booming tourism and nightlife."

During the holiday, Issa's family traveled to Wuhan, Shanghai and Nanjing in Jiangsu province. "We had a Spring Festival Eve dinner in Wuhan and enjoyed the splendid and colorful light show along the banks of the Yangtze River," he said. "This Spring Festival was especially meaningful."

As the Year of the Dragon brings in the new spring, Issa has a New Year's wish: "I hope Wuhan develops even more and our lives become increasingly better."

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