GCC celebrates cultural diversity with first Arab World Festival

Arab teachers, students and the Glendale neighborhood celebrated their first Arab World Festival event on Wednesday, April 12. The event was open to everyone to participate. Arab families, alongside teachers and students, joined the event.

The event celebrated the cultural diversity and education of Arab people. The event started at 9 a.m. and concluded at 1 p.m. in the Student Union room US104. The room is large enough to fit about hundred people and tens of tables, and featured a big stage and large speakers.

“The whole event made me smile,” Rene Asdsley, GCC security officer, said. Asdsley enjoyed watching the belly dancers and she wants to learn it. Asdsley said she was willing to learn belly dance. Many students and visitors had the same feeling as Asdsley, as everyone got an opportunity to learn about Arab culture and language.

The event hosted various cultural activities including, belly dance, Arab music, henna tattoos, glass drawings, paintings and chopy dance.

“This is the first Arab World Festival, and we hope it will happen again next year,” Zainab Majeed, food director, said. Becide the Arab Arts, Arab had share many types of Arabic foods and drinks. All foods and drinks were free.

“I am happy today to see my cultural traditions and dresses. I miss my country,” Hind Yahia, GCC Arabic student, said. Yahia is from Mosul, Iraq. She says that she loves to bring some of her favorite cultural food that she cooked to the event. Yahia cooked dolma and maklouba to share it with other families.

“We are [an] Arab restaurant, [so] it is an opportunity to reach more people and they will know about my restaurant and the types of food we make and [the prices we have],” Ronnel Orha, owner of Pita Kabob Grill restaurant, said. Pita Kabob Grill served free food during the event.

“It’s an opportunity to teach others about Arab language and Arab words,” Hanan Al Chalabi, from her home-based organization Stained Glass, said. Al Chalabi shared the Arabic language at the event, showing translations of what English words look like in Arabic. Also, Al Chalabi showed her painting work to visitors.

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