USC Aiken Celebrates Saudi Culture

November 07, 2017

The University of South Carolina Aiken hosted an event celebrating Saudi National Day, exposing members of the student body and the community to the rich culture, the warm people, the engaging landscape, and the unique cuisine.

"This occasion means a lot to me because on that day 87 years ago Saudi Arabia became united as a one country," said Asma Almutairi, one of the organizers of the event.

"It is important to have similar events for the entire student body because it teaches them about different countries and cultures."

She said one reason she felt it important to hold the event on campus was because she wants her fellow Pacers to know that what they may see in the news or pop culture about her home country may not truly reflect Saudi Arabia.

"I wanted my guests to take away the correct facts about Saudi Arabia instead of believing the stereotypes that others make," Almutairi said. "I would like them to learn that Saudi Arabia is not as the media shows it nor as the stereotypes that people made about it. Saudi Arabia is a beautiful developed county, and it has so much more than a desert."

Almutairi is one of almost 40 Saudi students at USC Aiken. Currently, 32 countries are represented in the student body.

As part of International Education Week, Nov. 13 - 17, the university will host a variety of events, which are free and open to the public. Students and faculty will present engaging workshops highlighting the countries represented on campus. The events kick off Nov. 13, at 11 a.m., with the annual Parade of Flags in the Quad, in the heart of campus.

"Learning about other cultures is very important because it helps us to understand the unusual activities that people from different countries do. Also, it decreases racism since we will have a better understanding of other cultures," Almutairi said.

USC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to more than 3,500 students in 50 programs of study. USC Aiken is ranked the #1 public regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide "America’s Best Colleges." The 2018 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 20th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and its 13th time in first place.