A new campus club is offering students a fresh look at Middle Eastern culture through scheduled recreational and educational campus events during this week’s Arab Awareness Week.
“It’s a really quick way of getting an intense course on Arab culture and erasing any prejudice that’s been created throughout the years. When people think Arab, they often think bombing right away. But they’re overlooking great music, art, food and beautiful history. We’re trying to bring out the positive Arab culture,” said architectural engineering junior Marya Mikati, vice president of Students for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, a campus club that started this fall.
Author and CSU Stanislaus political science professor As’ad AbuKhalil will speak Wednesday about this summer’s conflict in Lebanon at 7 p.m. in the Business building. AbuKhalil, a Lebanon native, has written three books, including the “Historical Dictionary of Lebanon” and, most recently, “The Battle For Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power.” He is also a visiting professor at UC Berkeley.
“He’s going to show students a different side of what’s happening in Lebanon that maybe they haven’t heard much about in the media,” said business senior Stella Atiya, president of Students for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
The style, food and art of countries throughout the Middle East will be showcased in an event tonight at 7 p.m in Chumash Auditorium. The event will feature traditional live music, belly dancing and food catered by local restaurant Jaffa Cafe. Traditional Middle Eastern artifacts and instruments will also be on display.
“It’s kind of a fun night for everyone to enjoy Arab culture,” said journalism freshman Daleen Saah, treasurer for Students for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
On Thursday, the film “About Baghdad” will be shown in the Graphic Arts building, room 106, at 7 p.m. Filmed in July 2003, the documentary focuses on Baghdad residents living in a postwar Iraq. A discussion forum will take place after the showing.
“Tragedy in the Holy Land,” a film that examines the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a historical perspective, was shown Monday night in the Business building.