XI'AN, May 5 (Xinhua) -- From a foreigner speaking broken Chinese to a movie actor and entrepreneur, Anees Qadir, 30, from Pakistan, believes Xi'an, the capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, is where his dream became a reality.
During his childhood, Qadir held two dreams, becoming a pilot or an actor. In 2014, following his father's advice, the then 21-year-old came to study at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an.
It is in Xi'an where Qadir began to gain a deeper knowledge of the history of Sino-Pakistani friendship and China's success in economic development over the past decades. The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed in 2013, further strengthened his determination to stay.
The city of Xi'an impressed him with its ancient history, mouth-watering delicacies and hospitality. He has visited the Terracotta Warriors three times and his younger brother and sister are also in China.
"Now I am familiar with the city and do not need navigation apps in most cases," said Qadir with pride.
His acting career also began during his student days in Xi'an, when he used to work as a part-time model.
To him, films serve as a window to peer into an unfamiliar country and also help build bridges between different cultures.
"Before I came to China, I enjoyed watching Chinese action comedy movies such as Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, and held the misconception that every Chinese knows Kung Fu," he grinned.
"By traveling to Beijing, Shenzhen and other megacities and acting in different roles, I had opportunities to experience many aspects of traditional Chinese culture including calligraphy, and see the real China for myself," he added.
Qadir has so far starred in three aired movies and featured in several upcoming TV dramas. "From walk-on parts to leading roles, I want to show the audience a real China and present the sincere friendship between China and Pakistan," said Qadir.
In 2019, Qadir founded a media company in Xi'an, specializing in the production of movies, short videos and livestream shows.
In the future, he plans to take the stories of Gwadar Port and Karakoram Highway to the big screen. "As examples of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, these projects benefit our two peoples and witness selfless devotion of workers who even laid down their lives. It is worth recording," he said.