Before joining the ring road construction project in Cairo, capital of Egypt, Luo Guoren was already famous for his management experience on international projects.
Luo, an employee of China Energy Engineering Group Corporation Limited (CEEC)’s Guangxi branch was assigned to work in Egypt, a country along the Belt and Road in 2015, when Egypt had just subsided its internal turmoil.
The local government was in dire need of improving the infrastructural facilities after years of political upheaval. The Egyptian General Authority for Roads, Bridges and Land Transport (GARBLT) sent officers to inspect the progress.
Luo (1st, R) poses for photo with foreign engineers
After rounds of inspections, they found the surface soil cleaning not have been completed, which made the GARBLT quite anxious.
The officials hurried to the project headquarters and asked for an explanation, but there was no one on the campsite of the project.
Unexpectedly, they found Luo Guoren and his colleagues working in a wheat field.
Luo, braved the scorching heat to help local farmers harvest wheat with a group of CEEC employees, who were all wearing blue uniforms and white safety helmets.
The wheat field was taken over for road construction, but local farmers were not reconciled to see the wheat being destroyed in surface soil clearing. So, they asked a favor from Luo and asked him whether the deadline could be pushed back a few months.
“I understand their concerns,” said Luo Guoren, who was born in a rural family.
However, Luo found himself in a dilemma. On one hand, he knew the importance of the wheat field to the locals; on the other hand, the schedule was quite tight if he agreed to their request.
After weighing the question repeatedly, Luo Guoren finally nodded his head.
Luo (1st, R) at the construction site
“The purpose of our participation in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative is to benefit local residents,” Luo explained, adding that they would rather work harder to help build up a good image of China in Egypt.
“Chinese people respect us, and we understand them,” an Egyptian farmer said. They seized every second to reap the wheat as the harvest season arrived, so the Chinese constructors could catch up with the schedule.
Local farmers gave their thumb-ups to Chinese employees and gave Luo Guoren a nickname -- wheat reaper.
(Executive editor: Hao Wen)