by Abdulaziz Almasaabi
International Day is a yearly event funded by the Lebanese International University and organized by its students. This event was originally planned to make the University’s foreign students feel more at home. It also aims to teach other students more about their culture and keep them from feeling like outcasts.
The event consisted of several booths, and each booth represented another country. Some booths were staffed by the embassy staffs themselves. A group of students from the university volunteered to represent other countries. Many booths featured distinctive foods from the represented countries, and throughout the booths one could hear students greeting visitors in the languages of their country as well.
The event began with a reading from the Holy Qur’an and the playing of the national anthem. Dr. Rida Hizma, president of the University, then delivered a speech to the attendees and visiting VIPs.
“While you were sitting there, you could see the whole world around you: Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Egypt, and many more. I even got to know more about Yemen, my own country,” Malike Cha’aban said.
On the other hand, all of the live performances were simply magical. The Turkish Dancers displayed their moved in traditional costumes. Talented Pakistani youth performed and danced. Watching Lebanese and Palestinian Dabkah and Yemeni traditional dances like Sharh and Baraa, one felt like you were in that country. Some audience members were jumping out of their seats to the music. Even some VIPs danced onstage with the university president, joy and happiness overpowering formal borders.
After the end of the official shows—and just when the audience thought the event could not get any better—the VIPs performed a show of their own. We continued with the opening of the country booths, where Ahmed Husain said, “Gosh, I don’t want to leave! This place is like everywhere…it’s like I’m traveling, but I’m not.”
The booths were full and crowded and people returned time and again. The second part of the performance featured hip-hop dances, singers, and a Kung-Fu team. Sala Mahfood said, “I can’t believe it: it’s like I’m in a concert and a bazaar, but I’m also traveling. It’s everything.”
The booths were full and crowded and people kept coming and you can see everything and everyone happy and the second part of the show started hip-hop dances, singers, and the Kong-Fu kids. Sala Mahfood said “ I can’t believe it’s like I’m in a concert and a bazaar but also I’m traveling. It is everything.“ At the end of the day, volunteers were tired but kept offering joy to the people by offering games from each country “I love it. I didn’t come to watch only; I even participated and play “Mohhamed Ehsan said “And when I met one of main coordinators of the event, Sarah Al-Ameri, she said, ‘International Day is a day students look forward to. I helped coordinate the previous one and I was astonished by the fact we have many multicultural students at LIU, so it was a day where those with such a diverse background are acknowledged. I believe this day is of great importance, and I am honored to take part of such an event. I can only hope that next year another student can coordinate it and make it better than it ever was.’”