Oh, I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where it’s flat and immense
And the heat is intense
It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home
Okay, so maybe “intense heat” is wildly inaccurate for our very own Athens, especially in the midst of this outrageous winter, but it’s still more than just another college town in Southeastern Ohio. Athens is a hub of international culture with over 1,000 international students in the Bobcat family. Are you interested in learning more about Arab culture from our very own international Bobcats? If so, attend Arabian Night hosted by Ohio University’s Arabic Language Student Association (ALSA). The event will be held in Baker Ballroom on Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
“Students come to Arabian Night for a basic introduction to Arab culture, food, and dance,” said Patrick Lindsey, senior psychology major and ALSA member.
ALSA is a member organization of the International Student Union (ISU), an umbrella organization for 23 international student organizations on campus. ISU plays a vital role in promoting cultural understanding and expanding cultural awareness through student-led activities and events on campus. As a union, ISU serves to provide consultation to the international student organizations, promote a sense of community among international and American students at OU and develop activities to increase intercultural exchange.
Junior Global Studies War and Peace and Political Science double major, ALSA president and lead organizer of the event Nicholas Brumfield encourages all students to come and enjoy a night of Arabian culture.
“Historically, we have a large turnout from the Arab and Arabic learning communities on campus, students just generally interested in Arab culture, and a whole host of other people who just enjoy cultural events,” Brumfield said.
In addition to music and culture, the event will feature a tantalizing Mediterranean dinner catered by Nazareth Deli of Columbus, including falafel, shish kebab, shish taouk, hummus, baba ghanouj, flatbread, grape leaves and baklawa. There will also be traditional Arabic dance performances by Arab students around campus. Attendees will be treated to a number of performances ranging from a Saudi Arabian singer and Omani group dance to an Egyptian poetry reading, dabake performance by ALSA students and a poetry performance by two Omani students.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the ALSA table in Baker, or at the door. All proceeds fund the event itself.
ALSA, the member organization currently featured on ISU’s website, is devoted to promoting Arab culture and the Arabic language to students on campus. They provide assistance to Arabic language students as well as students merely interested in Arab language and culture. Members of ALSA learn about Arab culture, history and tradition, regardless of religious background. They also practice their language skills with native Arabic-speakers in the club’s Arabic conversation hours. Members also help plan, organize and participate in ALSA’s annual Arabian Night, which has been a tradition of ALSA ever since its foundation.
You can get involved in ALSA by attending their meetings on Thursdays from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Gordy 311.