WUHAN, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- With a Chinese brush in hand, two Pakistani students, Amar Razzaq and Waseem Abbas, wrote down the Chinese character "Fu."
"Fu means blessing in Chinese, and I hope the Year of the Ox will bring good luck to us," said Amar.
It was part of the Spring Festival activities organized recently by Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, which attracted a number of international students.
"We missed the Spring Festival last year as Wuhan was then hit hard by COVID-19. Now, the city has come back to its normal bustle, and we want to make up for the missed Spring Festival atmosphere this year," said Waseem.
Amar and Waseem are Ph.D. students with majors in agricultural economic management and functional genomics of rice in the university.
"Wuhan is well-known for its education, with over 1.2 million college students. It's also a modern metropolis with rapid development, which offers sufficient opportunities for international students to study and work," said Amar, who has developed a deep affection for Wuhan.
"The epidemic in Wuhan has been brought under control and we can really enjoy this winter vacation," he said, adding that international students are cherishing this winter holiday as they recall the tough days Wuhan has been through last year.
At the beginning of 2020, Amar and Waseem had planned to visit their Chinese friends and have the New Year's Eve dinner with them. But the plan fell through after Wuhan suffered the sudden COVID-19 outbreak and announced an emergency lockdown.
"Everything changed overnight," Amar recalled. "But we decided to stay."
"We believed China would be able to overcome such a difficulty, and the 'lockdown' is a reasonable measure to curb the spread of the virus," Waseem said.
To keep international students from getting infected, Amar and Waseem devoted themselves to distributing epidemic prevention materials and food to foreign students at the university. Amar was also in charge of taking the body temperature of students and recording their health condition during the lockdown.
"The epidemic prevention work went smoothly and more and more students participated in the volunteering work," Waseem said.
"There were rumors that international students in Wuhan didn't have protection during the time, but we posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show people that we were well protected and leading a comfortable life," Amar said.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. Not long ago, China decided to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan to battle the coronavirus. Amar and Waseem cheered as a batch of the vaccines was sent from Beijing to Pakistan on Jan. 31.
"Thanks to China for providing vaccines to Pakistan. It will consolidate the bilateral relationship between the two countries," Amar said. Technology is capable of helping mankind defeat the virus, and we will tell our families to get vaccinated as soon as possible." Enditem