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RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Saudi National Day

Photo credit: Paul Wintruba

Walking into the Gus Krop Gym on Thursday Sept. 24 students were greeted warmly by the Saudi Student Club with wristbands, bracelets, and information about the Saudi Arabian Culture for the 85th Saudi National Day and second celebration at Robert Morris.

The event was celebrated in three separate sections, in order to make it easier for the students to learn about Saudi Arabia. The first section was the gallery tables, which included information about the Saudi Culture in all regions, and activities such as trying henna and Arabic makeup and learning to write your name in Arabic. The second section was the showing of a documentary and distinctive dances from three regions performed by Saudi club members . The last section was a dinner for students to try the cuisine.

“The Saudi National Day is a very important day for the U.S.,” said Khalid Alshammari, the Saudi club president, “because in my opinion it is the Saudi club chance to show the fabulous and rich picture of our history.”

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Each of the tables had students who were knowledgeable on their topic to give a brief lesson to the guests. They answered questions as well as set up props and other cultural items around. The tables included economic material from different regions of Saudi Arabia, especially the oil, palm trees, and spring water.

“The planning for this event was great, a lot of work, and awesome because each of one of the Saudi students had a different idea and a different perspective from the other in how to make this event a successful event,” said Mufadi Alhazmi, executive board member,

The sports table was informational with facts about soccer, currently the Saudi Arabian number one sport, and women who were inducted into sports in 2012. The Southern, Northern, Eastern, and Central regions each had a table with members of the club to give visiting students the facts.

“I liked all the tables because each table provides some important information about the whole region including the most important thing such geographical location and heritage tourist sites,” Alhazmi said.

Artistic tables were situated where women could try Arabic makeup and get henna tattoos. As Arabic incense floated around the room, students were able to visit a table that showcased Arabic Arts and Crafts. Visitors could also see the ladies’ headscarf and learn about the clothing. One of the tables gave a delicious hot tea while giving a lesson on the Hajj and Eid Al Adha, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

“It was very informative and I really enjoy events like this,” said freshman Charles Stockhausen.

Section two then began with remarks from Alshammari, RMU vice president, and John Michalenko, the vice president of student life. Following the remarks was a showing of an eight minute documentary about Saudi Arabia and a play on the intercultural differences. The members of the club then gave three dance performances from the Western, Southern, and Northern regions of the country. Arabic music was played at the end as section three began, where a traditional Saudi Arabian dinner was served.

With 399 Saudi Arabian students on campus, classes have been added to introduce the campus to the language.

“I like to welcome all students to the Saudi Students club and encourage them to visit us or email to have some information about the club because we do so many activities,” Alhazmi stated.

Basic Arabic lessons are held on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Hale Center 301 in an eight week class from Sept. 29 to Dec. 8. An additional class has been added for the students who attended the basic class last year. Advance Arabic is on Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., also in Hale Center 201. The advanced class starts on Oct. 1 and ends on Dec. 3.

For any questions about the Arabic classes, please contact Hael Alyami at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Brittany Mayer, News Manager
Brittany is a communications major with a concentration in journalism and is the News Manager of RMU Sentry Media. After getting her degree, she hopes to get a job in either copy editing or publishing.

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