Saudi Arabian student carnival at UNL April 3-4

Released on 03/27/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, Apr. 3, 2009, through Apr. 4, 2009

WHERE: Kauffman Hall, 630 N. 14th Street (City Campus, north of Nebraska Union)

Lincoln, Neb., March 27th, 2009 —

Saudi student associations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha will host a first-ever carnival showcasing the unique culture of Saudi Arabia, April 3-4 in Kauffman Hall, 630 N. 14th St. on the UNL City Campus.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler and the Saudi cultural attache from Washington, D.C., Dr. Mohammed Aleasa, will launch the carnival at 10 a.m. April 3. The mayor and guests will then tour the different parts of the carnival. Each section of the carnival will represent a different region in Saudi Arabia and include numerous activities throughout the day on April 3 and 4. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The carnival is free and open to the public.

The Saudi Carnival will then travel to more than 30 different university campuses around the United States. Student presidents of Saudi organizations from around the United States will be present during this event. Guests will have a chance to take home prizes, meet Saudi students and learn about Saudi Arabia through a variety of activities focusing on different aspects of life in Saudi Arabia including the culture, history, people, education, industry, music, life, geography, religion, politics and more. Guests will also be invited to taste some traditional Saudi Arabian dishes.

Khalid Alamri, president of the Omaha Saudi Student Association at UNO and the founder of the carnival, said preparation for the carnival started more than one year ago.

"The Saudi Cultural Mission and the Saudi Embassy supported the idea from the beginning. In addition, many Saudi students active in outreach work around the United States also became involved during the early days of planning," Alamri said. "Cultural items, gifts, and artifacts from across Saudi Arabia were purchased and shipped to the United States, all in an effort to show the diversity and the richness of our culture."

Education is an important objective for Saudi Arabia, and the government has established a scholarship program and to send thousands of Saudi Students to the United States to be educated and return back to Saudi with the experience needed to help in the development of the country, according to Dr. Mody Alkhalaf from the Saudi Cultural Mission. "By supporting this carnival, we hope to empower the Saudi student bodies around the United States to become more actively involved on their campuses because it is our firm belief that education and cultural awareness among people is the best way for working together for peace," she said.

"The carnival will travel to many campuses around the United States and will help foster the building of bridges between cultures and encourage greater understanding between the people of both nations," said Ibrahim Aldaghrir, president of the Saudi Student Association at UNL.

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