Arabian Night brings the Middle East to campus

Ohio University students can be transported out of icy Ohio and into a Mediterranean paradise Thursday, figuratively speaking, anyway.

The Arabic Language Student Association’s event, Arabian Night, will allow students to experience a whole new culture.

Students will have the chance to sample a variety of Mediterranean dishes such as lamb, hummus, grape leaves and even some ethnic vegetarian options. The authentic dishes will be prepared by the Columbus Middle Eastern restaurant and deli, Nazareth.

Tyler Pabon, treasurer of the Arabic Language Student Association and a sophomore studying linguistics, said it is extremely important to see every single aspect of a culture to truly understand it

“We want to show a greater appreciation for Arabic culture,” Pabon said. “We use culture along with the language to do this.”

OU students help promote this appreciation for the culture by participating in the evening’s entertainment. Students will perform as dancers, poets and singers to add to the authenticity of the atmosphere.

Mohammed Al-Issa, instructor of the Arabic program in the linguistics department, oversees the events at Arabian Night. He said the event is beneficial to everyone involved, not just one specific group.

“It’s this cultural component that’s added to the classroom experience,” Al-Issa said. “It mutually benefits students and the community.”

Tickets will be available at the door for $5 a person. Arabian Night isn’t just limited to people of Arabic backgrounds, any person interested in learning more about the culture is encouraged to attend.

“In the United States we kind of have this vision of the Middle East as this monolithic block of people,” said Nicholas Brumfield, president of the Arabic Language Student Association. “A major goal for this event is to bring out the richness and variety of the Middle East.”

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