Students celebrate 2017 Saudi National Day

Matt Peters
map006@marietta.edu

Students learn about Saudi culture during Saudi National Day celebration. Photo by Matt Peters

On Monday, Sept. 25, Marietta College’s Saudi international students hosted a Saudi National Day celebration on the Christy Mall. The celebration featured traditional food, music, artwork, and informal presentations by Saudi students.

“We have diversity in our culture, as you see,” international student Abdullah Aldhawyan said, pointing out various foods, maps, and traditional objects.

Saudi National Day commemorates the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by King Abdulaziz in 1932. It is celebrated every year on September 23.

Hundreds of American students stopped by the table to taste, experience, and learn more about Saudi culture.

“I thought it was really neat to be able to know more about their culture,” junior Meghan Horsley said. “I feel like I don’t really get to talk to any of them, so it was really cool to try the different food that they had and be able to talk to them personally and know more about where they’re from.”

Horsley says that many students are interested in Saudi culture, but hesitant to ask.

Students interact during Saudi National Day celebration. Photo by Matt Peters

Aldawyan also pointed out the importance of Aramco, the world’s largest oil and gas company, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia. He then alluded to Saudi Arabia’s geographic significance in the Islamic community.

“In one month, there will be more than two million people in one place,” Aldhawyan said, referring to the hajj, a religious pilgrimage that draws millions of Muslims to Mecca each year. Mecca, the holy city of Islam, is located in present-day Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi National Day celebration concluded at 1:00 p.m. Within four hours, hundreds of students, faculty, and community members frequented the line of colorfully decorated tables.

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