Mohamed Noureldin came from Egypt to China 14 years ago to work in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province.
Seven years ago, he entered the University of Science and Technology of China, which is based in the city, for postgraduate study. He remained a student in USTC until 2020 when he got his PhD degree in public affairs administration and is now doing a visiting scholar program in the university.
"When I first came here, I used to go back to Egypt during the Spring Festival holiday," said Noureldin.
But about five or six years ago, he decided to stay for the event. "Since it's a very big celebration, I thought it was a good chance to know more about the Chinese culture and the people," he said.
"As I learned more, I became more interested in the Spring Festival customs," he said.
In the week before the festival, Noureldin had been busy visiting friends and preparing for the celebration, such as buying ornaments.
During the holiday period, the university canteens, including the one serving Muslims, stay open so that he and others do not to need worry about meals.
Noureldin said he feels homesick during this Chinese holiday, which is considered the most important event for family reunion.
"My parents told me not to return home because of the COVID-19 situation back there," he said.
"My new year's wishes are many, but most importantly, I hope everyone will be safe from the virus," Noureldin said.