A Cultural Ambassador Promoting International Cooperation
By SHI Junbin and GAO Xingjian
This year marks the 26th visit of Dr. Khaled Mohammed MuslehMesmar to China. Khaled is from Yemen and was awarded the "Xi 'an Excellent Foreign Expert Award" in 2016. Besides, he is one of the first 19 foreigners to receive a "green card" in Shaanxi Province.
A foreigner's Chinese heart
Dr. Khaled Mohammed MuslehMesmar is proud to be a special foreign expert in China and has achieved more than one billion yuan in international sales of products and spare parts since joining the Shaanxi Automobile Group in 2008.
His close connection with China dated from the 1970s. Khaled studied at a technical school built by the Chinese government in Yemen. In 1994, he went to university in Xi'an and in 2007, he successfully obtained his doctor's degree majoring in Vehicle Operation Engineering in Chang'an University with honors.
After graduating, Khaled returned to Yemen to teach for two years. Nevertheless, his deep affection with China and his Chinese friends prompted him to join the Shaanxi Automobile Group, mainly responsible for market development and maintenance in the Middle East. In 2013, he met his true love Peng in China, and the two got married. Now, they have a happy family with a son and a daughter. In addition, his staff are all Chinese.
In 2018, he became one of the first batch of foreigners living in China to get a "green card" for permanent resident in Shaanxi Province.
Dr. Khaled Mohammed MuslehMesmar serves as a cultural ambassador promoting international cooperation. (PHOTO: Department of Science and Technology of Shaanxi Province)
A cultural messenger serves for the Belt and Road Initiative
The reform and opening-up policy and the Belt and Road Initiative have not only changed China, but also changed Khaled's life. In 2009, he went to Saudi Arabia, a middle eastern country dominated by the petroleum industry. The manufacturing industry was undeveloped in Saudi Arabia. Many people held misconceptions about the quality of Chinese-made products. Chinese trucks were confronted with great difficulties in entering the market. According to Khaled, there were obstacles to overcome when he started developing the market. However, his technical background was helpful in ensuring his customers satisfaction.
In order to develop Saudi Arabia's market, he did his best to persuade his colleagues and local people to adopt the Chinese-branded vehicles and equipment.
Eventually the company purchased more than 1,000 cars from Shaanxi Automobile alone, making a big contribution to the brand promotion of Made in China in the Middle East.
By virtue of his advantage in knowing three languages, he has become a celebrity in Saudi Arabia's China-invested enterprises. When recommended by his Chinese colleagues as a spokesperson to communicate with local people, he agreed. "The number of Chinese people in Saudi Arabia has grown rapidly year by year, and their arrival has remarkably transformed the local people's living habits. For example, there is an increasing number of locals starting work in the early morning," said Khaled.
Having lived in China for almost 26 years, Khaled has introduced more than 200 foreign teenagers to study in China, which makes him a messenger to promote people-to-people exchanges between Chinese and Saudi Arabian cultures. In the past two years, he has been awarded the Xi'an Friendship Award and Sanqin Friendship Award.