Beauty of a new dawn: a fusion of two worlds

Writer: Imane Sbai  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From:   |  Updated: 2024-03-12

Living in Shenzhen as a Moroccan, my experience of watching the sunrise strikes a captivating balance of old familiarity and new discoveries. The radiant markets, majestic mosques, and tranquil deserts of Morocco paint a different picture of beauty compared to the fast-paced, urban energy of Shenzhen. Despite the apparent contrast between these two worlds, the awe-inspiring dawn weaves a connection, linking me to both landscapes through the spectacle of a new day.

A sunrise scene the author caught when she was in Morocco. Imane Sbai

As Shenzhen stirs with the sun's initial rays penetrating the calm of the early morning, the city reveals its hidden charm — a magnificent sunrise and delightful blossoms dotting the streets. These tranquil moments, far removed from the usual urban hustle, offer a temporary retreat, a potent connection to nature's masterpieces.

Living in Morocco, I grew familiar with the dawning sun spilling its light over the ancient walls of the old medinas. These sunrises awakened the natural hues of our classic architecture, illuminating the ornamental doorways and casting elongated shadows across the stone-paved corridors. However, upon my move to Shenzhen, the landscape shifted dramatically. Here, the sun’s first light pierces the skyline, generating a shimmering effect on Futian District's state-of-the-art structures. Shadowy outlines of the prominent Ping An Finance Centre juxtaposed against the rising sun encapsulate Shenzhen's distinctive horizon. Surprisingly though, the emotions elicited by these varied sunrises are alike. Both stir an undying sense of wonder, prompting deep contemplation on light's metamorphic prowess and the assurance of a new day.

A sunrise scene in Shenzhen. Liu Xudong

Experiencing the sunrise in Shenzhen extends beyond a purely aesthetic display — it serves as a spiritual journey. As the sun rises from its bedtime, it adorns the sky with shades of fiery orange and soft lavender, and breathes life into the urban canvas. The morning coolness permeates the air while silence reigns, disturbed only by the faint chirping of birds echoing from the remnants of a moon-kissed dreamscape.

Furthermore, by their very nature, sunrises nurture a feeling of cohesion in the face of unceasing transformation and diversity. The radiant illumination, the symphony of color, and the birth of a new day transcend the confines of geographical demarcations. It serves as a soothing testament to the universal appreciation of beauty, binding diverse cultures and habitats under a shared enchantment.

From an observer's standpoint, one inevitably succumbs to a sentiment of tranquility. There exists a deep-seated realization of being intrinsically woven into the universe, a manifestation of nature's plainness. The tranquility prompted by daybreak encourages contemplative reflection, providing an opportunity to understand oneself and the world at large better.

Experiencing the dawn in Shenzhen, as a Moroccan expatriate, harmoniously merges dual perspectives. It unifies the nostalgic underpinnings of my heritage with the vibrant spirit of contemporaneity embodied by my adoptive city, each sunrise reverberating with comfort, rejuvenation, and the collective human experience captured in the anticipation of a new day.

Contemplating these sunrises brings to mind the adage, "Every sun must descend to ascend once more." Regardless of where the sun retreats — be it over the deserts of Moroccan or the architectural horizon of Shenzhen — the guarantee of its rise the next day is a comforting constant.

As the city of Shenzhen sleeps and rises to another day, the sun, in its radiant brilliance, represents a beacon of optimism. The flowers lining the avenues continue to flourish, underlining the intrinsic ethos of life — that of tenacity and revival. Undoubtedly, such is the charm of a sunrise in Shenzhen.