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AUS cultural diversity highlighted at annual Global Day
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the university concluded its annual Global Day, Friday night. One of the most anticipated events at AUS, Global Day was inaugurated on Thursday by His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, member of the Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Statistics and Community Development. The opening was attended by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, AUS Chancellor along with other senior university officials.
Each year, Global Day showcases the cultural heritage of the many nationalities represented at AUS by turning the university campus into a festival of culture and color. Set up across the AUS Main Plaza were ethnic stalls and pavilions depicting cultural heritage of 35 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Palestine, Libya, India, Sudan and Egypt, among others, giving visitors a taste of the truly multicultural nature of the AUS campus. Visitors were also able to sample a wide variety of traditional food in the outdoor food court.
Organized by the Office of Student Affairs with the assistance of more than 1,000 AUS students, the two-day event also included colorful indoor cultural performances in the university's Main Auditorium as well as on an outdoor stage, giving students a chance to share their talent and traditions through dance performances and skits.
"It is the time of year when our students take pride in their cultural identities. As early as December last year, our students started planning for their pavilions and rehearsing for their performances," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Dean of Students. "Global Day is a grand event at AUS through which our students are able to expand their understanding of cultural diversity and multiculturalism, hone their planning and organizing skills, learn from team building activities, practice leadership skills, learn the value of volunteerism and the opportunity to socialize and network with their peers," she added.
"This year, we will experience the event in a new perspective as country pavilions are now centrally located in the campus plaza. This is an outcome of our efforts to enhance the cultural experience and promote sustainable events," said Dr. Al Shehhi.
Heba Afana, a third year student majoring in marketing and a member of the Palestinian Cultural Club expressed her pride in the various cultures comprising the student body and stated that this is the time of the year were students get to express themselves through their cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The first AUS Global Day was held in 1998 with eight student organizations and 400 students. Since then, the event has grown manifold with this year's Global Day witnessing the participation of a lively and dynamic student body that comprises approximately 6,000 students from more than 100 nationalities.