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Students celebrate diversity on Beirut campus

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April 8, 2009—

Dressed in national costumes, LAU students shared their cultural legacy by presenting traditional dances, songs and food during the annual International Heritage Day on April 1.

The area in front of the Fine Arts Building, Beirut campus, was transformed into a global village where nine cultural clubs set up stands to display customs from Armenia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United States.

Students tasted traditional foods and sweets while observing the exhibited artifacts, brochures, books, and photos of famous national figures such as actors, singers and poets.

Two newly founded clubs—American and Bahraini—participated in the event for the first time.

Sara Salman, the Bahraini Club president, said they showcased artifacts and pictures of ancient and recent monuments to show Bahrain’s evolution. The country “went through a boom and there is a huge difference between what it was and what it is now,” she added.  

The American Club showed photos of movie and music stars, and served burgers and doughnuts.

According to the club’s Vice President Adam Dabliz, they wanted to introduce people to the diversity in American culture. The goal was to “take off most of the heat that’s on our foreign policy toward other countries and to show them who the real American people are,” Dabliz said.   

At the opening, Dr. Tarek Na’was, dean of Student Affairs in Beirut, said that this year the university welcomed students of eight new nationalities, bringing the total to 81.

“It does not matter where you come from or what religion you belong to,” said LAU President Joseph Jabbra, emphasizing the university’s inclusive policy. “As long as you are willing to come to this institution, you are qualified,” he added.

Ambassador of Kuwait Abdul’al Al Qenae, Saudi Cultural Attaché Ayman Al Maghrebi, and American Cultural Attaché Richard Michaels were among the diplomatic figures that attended the event.

The daylong celebration ended with performances by the folk, Latin and hip-hop dance clubs at the Irwin Hall Auditorium.


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