Students Celebrate Saudi Culture


The International Student Association brought together their students from Saudi Arabia with the campus community for the first ever “Saudi Culture Celebration.” University faculty and students were treated to a taste of Middle Eastern culture right here on campus as they learned about the importance of Saudi Arabia and its relationship to the United States.

The event was organized by the executive director of ISA, Kathy Kautz de Arango, who greeted guests at the entrance. According to de Arango, the students from Saudi Arabia make up a great percentage of the international student population.

“Few prominent cultures attend our university,” said de Arango. “We want people to learn about their culture, with great food and a PowerPoint presentation.”

AJ Greene/The Charger Bulletin

There were various interactive activities that allowed for hands-on experience with Saudi Arabian culture. Candy and sweets from the Middle East were available for everyone, and one station even served Arabic coffee and presented videos on how it was made. Visitors tried different kinds of clothes for women and men, between cotton thobes and abaya and jewelry.

Everybody was brought together for the PowerPoint presentation on the culture of Saudi Arabia. The presenters gathered everyone for the Saudi Arabian national anthem, and prepared to share their culture with everyone. One presenter explained that Saudi Arabia was much more than oil, but that was frequently all people thought about.

The speakers transitioned into the structure of the Saudi Arabian politics, being ruled by a king as both the head of state and head of government. The Quran is the constitution of the state and is governed by Shari’a, Islamic Law. The presentation explained how Saudi Arabia was an important part of Islamic culture due to being the home of the holiest mosques in the cities of Mecca and Medina.

Saudi Arabia’s culture is divided into five different provinces: Hijaz, Jnoub, Sharigiah, Shamal, and Nejd. Each province is home of unique food, clothing and dance that paints a picture of diversity and unique aspects of life. Several students helped with the show by presenting themselves with the fashion each region of the country.

The presentation moved on into fun facts about the nation. From being the owner of Aramco, the most valuable oil company in the world, as well as having the second largest proven crude oil reserves, to having the world’s largest clock tower in the middle of the city.

The audience was treated to videos of the country’s architecture and landscape. The Saudi Arabian students ended the night with a catered meal by the falafel house.