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AUS celebrates cultural diversity at Global Day festival
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation opened AUS Global Day festival today, March 13, 2014.
Under the theme "Peace throughout the World" this 16th edition of Global Day is a celebration of the university's multicultural campus. It depicts how diverse ethnicities at AUS coexist and how students celebrate their own cultures as well as those of their peers. The two-day festival is organized by the Office of Student Affairs and features a wide variety of cultural traditions, providing AUS students a chance to exhibit their cultures through traditional art, cuisine, dress and architecture. The event also includes live performances by AUS students.
"Global Day is a student tradition at AUS celebrating cultural diversity," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. "The weeks leading to Global Day are full of excitement for our students as they prepare for this big event on campus. We see our students progress and transform their ideas and concepts into works of art. This is the time of year when we witness the best talents at AUS coming together on one platform," she added.
"We have 34 nationalities presented at this year's Global Day, with three participating for the first time: the Ethiopian, the American and the Italian clubs. Global Day is not just a cultural event; it is a rich practice field wherein our students learn the value of planning, team work, cooperation and time management while honing their skills in finance, budgeting, engineering, public relations, arts and other areas," Dr. Al Shehhi said. She also expressed her gratitude to the event's organizers and participants in making the event a success.
The event, which is open to the public, attracted a large number of visitors who were able to sample a variety of traditional food available at the Food Fair. The country pavilions, set up all across the AUS Main Plaza, depicted culture and traditions of various countries represented among the AUS student body including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan and Egypt, among others.
"This event gives me the chance to learn about the different countries and traditions my friends come from," said Anum Fatima, a freshman computer engineering student. "Almost all the students take part in this festival; students not only work in helping set up clubs representing their cultures but they also help friends with their pavilions. This event truly brings the entire student body together as one," she added.
Global Day was first held in 1998 with only eight student organizations and 400 students. Participants now include 34 student clubs and over 5,000 students from more than 92 nationalities.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, Acting Chancellor of AUS; along with senior AUS officials, faculty members, students, media personnel and members of the public.
The annual Global Day is one of the most anticipated events with thousands of people attending every year. The event, which continues through tomorrow, March 14, is open to the public from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. each day.