LAU celebrates diversity with International Heritage Day
In pictures — Nine student clubs offered the LAU community a taste of their culture, celebrating the annual event on the Beirut campus.
In pictures —
The LAU community celebrated its annual International Heritage Day on March 24 in front of the Safadi Fine Arts Building, Beirut campus. Nine student cultural club set up a stand dedicated to informing passers-by about their heritage.
The Armenian Club, Greek Group, Iraqi Group, Jordanian Cultural Club, Kuwaiti Cultural Club, Palestinian Cultural Club, Saudi Cultural Club, Syrian Cultural Club, and UNESCO Club (presenting Lebanese culture) participated in the event.
An opening ceremony at 11:00 a.m. welcomed students, faculty, staff and guests. A dance show organized by the various LAU dance clubs followed in the evening.
The Dean of Students in Beirut, Dr. Tarek Na’was (right), cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony in the morning, along with guests that included Abdel Aal El Kinaei (Ambassador of Kuwait), Feryal Abdel Nabi (Deputy Head of the Iraqi Mission), Emmanuel Kakavelakis (Deputy Head of the Greek Mission), Ghassan Anjarini (Deputy Head of the Syrian Mission), Dr. Ayman El Maghrabi (Saudi Arabian Embassy’s Cultural Attaché), Dr. Inaam El Sadek (Iraqi Embassy’s Cultural Attaché), Wael Al Smadi (Jordanian Embassy’s Cultural Attaché), Maher Mcheiel (Palestinian Embassy’s Cultural Attaché), Salwa Saniora Baassiri (Secretary-General of the Lebanese National Commission of the UNESCO), and Christiane Jeitani (National Coordinator of associated schools-UNESCO clubs).
Na’was quoted William Sloane Coffin, Jr. in his opening speech, saying “diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without.”
The guests visited each stand at the event and conversed with students about their cultures.
Various cultural items were on display at the stands.
Passers-by were served national foods at the stands.
Dr. Elise Salem, vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Management, explained that 19 percent of LAU students are international, representing 85 countries.
“This day highlights our diversity and celebrates our cultural heritages. It’s an inclusive non-political event that brings different customs, food, music, dance to campus in a fun and positive atmosphere. You could tell by the huge attendance that students responded to the food, the dabke, and the colorful tents,” said Salem of the event.
The members of the Greek Group, which was launched this year, performed a traditional dance in front of their stand. They also served foods like tyropita, kaftedes and tzatziki, that members cooked themselves.
Other stories in: Student Development.