Saudi Cultural Club brings insight to SU campus
Sharing its culture and adding a new club to the Shippensburg campus, the Saudi Cultural Club celebrated for the first time the 83rd National Day on Thursday, Sept. 26 outside the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library.
Representing the cultural identity, the club organized a celebration with traditional food and music, henna tattoos in Arabic, pictures in traditional clothing, hookah and a display of arts and crafts.
Attendees were also able to leave with giveaways such as bracelets, necklaces and small fans.
Many students and staff came out to join in the celebration, either by hearing about it through prior promotion by the club or being welcomed in as they passed by.
SU senior Nicole Williams said, “I’ve been seeing the flyers on campus and I wanted to come and interact.
“I think it is amazing. I wish Ship would do more things like this. It is a very inviting environment.”
However, it was more than a festive event.
The event also provided various information about Saudi Arabia with pamphlets including information on Saudi arts and crafts, economic cities and the technological revolution. The event was described as being the biggest event of the year for the club and its culture.
Before this event, the club had its struggles with getting started due to finances and other issues.
Club creator and graduate student, Sara Al Uraifi said, “We faced a lot of difficulties in opening this. I explained that we can get funds from the [student] government and after two months of struggle, we got approval.”
Al Uraifi also explained the inspiration for wanting to start the Saudi Cultural club.
“I was surprised we didn’t have one. I wanted the challenge to start the club and wanted to help the students,” she said.
Now the club is able to add to the number of cultural clubs on campus and inform students of Saudi culture as well as help the international students adjust. The club does so by celebrating all events that are celebrated in Saudi Arabia, such as National Day, and engaging with other students while doing so.
The Saudi Cultural Club hopes to include everyone and to break the political and social issues that some associate with Saudi Arabian culture.
“The goal is to have others view Saudi Arabia in a different light. It illustrates a glimpse of how Saudi culture really is,” Uraifi said.
Feedback from the event included positive comments from those who attended. Students and staff enjoyed food, photos and hennas while learning about the culture which helped create a welcoming environment.
Sophomore Amber Laufer said, “There were many activities where you could interact with the people and find out about the culture. The food was great and I had a chance to get a henna. The experience was worth it.”
If interested in learning more about the Saudi Cultural Club or the events it hosts, visit the clubs Facebook page, Saudi Cultural Club at Shippensburg University, or contact Sara Al Uraifi at firstname.lastname@example.org.