The Middle Eastern Coffee Hour took place Wednesday. There, Ehsan Sheikholharam, Erik Broberg and Nizar Osmani performed classic Albanian songs at the CAS Gallery in the Wesley Foundation Building at the University of Miami.
The coffee hour was designed to explore and celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern culture. The event hosted different activities such as belly dancers, live music, performances, art and even traditional cuisine from different countries.
The International Coffee Hour, a Global Ambassador event, was intended to promote intercultural learning and celebrate the diversity of the University of Miami campus. This is why Faisal Al-Adwani, a freshman student from Saudi Arabia majoring in engineering, decided to attend the event.
“I came here today because I really like showing people the different traditions and teaching them the essence of my own culture. Besides, I love meeting new people,” Al-Adwani said.
This was Al-Adwani’s first Coffee Hour and not only did he attend for fun, but also as part of the organization team. He participated in the section representing Saudi Arabia, which exhibited artwork, flags, names in Arabic and traditional food.
Participants were able to indulge in traditional dishes like tabbouleh, baklava’s and dates, as well as an array of Mediterranean art pieces, music, short clips and even interactive stations where they could learn how to write their name in Arabic.
The Middle Eastern Coffee Hour was organized by the Study Abroad department and was sponsored by different organizations and clubs that promote cultural diversity on campus. The sponsored organizations were COISO, Muslim Students of UM, Emet Israel, Saudi Students Association, ISSS, Lebanese Collegiate Network and the Modern Languages and Literature department among others.
The event welcomed undergraduate and graduate students as well as outside visitors craving a little creativity, diversity and a good time.
Shalinie Persaud, a second year architecture graduate student, came to the event to support friends. However, she wishes the event could have been more promoted or more accessible to graduate students or people living off campus since she herself wasn’t really informed about it.
“I came to see my friend Ehsan play the violin, but I couldn’t try the food nor see the other performers because I didn’t know this event was happening. I heard the belly dancing was great and very inspiring though,” Persaud said.
Sheikholharam, Broberg and Osmani played an excerpt from a classic Albanian song called “Romance,” as part of the closing ceremony.
words & photos_donatella vacca.