Saudi Arabian students introduce themselves to WCU

Saudi Arabian students made their first official presentation this week to the WCU community.

Saudi Arabian students answering questions from the audience at the end of their presentation. Photo by Marcelo Maia

The event took place at the University’s Center Theater, witch was packed to hear about the Saudi Arabian culture and customs. The students also took the opportunity to explain how they’re getting along in WCU.

Yolany Gonell, Associate Director of Intercultural Affairs, introduced the event saying she was very pleased for having so many people present – “for me this is the best job ever, I get to work with so many different cultures,” she says.

Joseh Alamri hosted the lectures beginning by saying “there’s a simple think that makes me very happy and feel welcome in this community, and it’s everybody’s smiles”.

Ali Alnakhli followed next, suggesting with modest but effective English skills “please think before you judge a country” – while explaining that Saudi Arabia was not made off just camels and sand.

After showing a picture of the monumental city of Medina he moved on to talk about rural life in the country.

Tariq Al-bosaily later took on the mic to talk about the frenetic urban life in the cities of Riyadh and Jedda. “As you know the weather in Saudi Arabia is very hot,” he said, illustrating the reasons why most people go to the mall in their free time. He says that Jedda has more than 50 malls and shopping has become a cultural habit.

He also enlightened the audience about the differences he found out between the American and Saudi Arabian music cultures. While Saudi music artists’ main focus is love, American artists seem to address much wider and broader subjects in their creations.

Taleb Al-sharmah’s presentation was about family, witch he said have an average of 5 to 7 children. “Its hard to get divorce in Saudi Arabia” says Al-sharmah, contextualizing that unity is a strong family value.

Muhammed Al Jaizani humbly took his place at the podium beginning by saying “I’m nervous”. He talked about the kingdoms dynasty through a chronological point of view and distributed Saudi Ryials among the crowd.

His PowerPoint presentation also portrayed pictures of the architecture and infrastructures found in Mecca and Ryiad, which has the tallest building of Saudi Arabia called “AL-Mamlka Tower”.

Laughs pored out from the crowd while Hussain Sheikh humorously talked about the best of Saudi Arabia which ranged from tax free products to traditional food, “cheap” luxury hotels and rally contests.

After a couple of other students talked a little bit about their country, Mohammed Shutayfi eloquently concluded the presentation.

“We came to get a good education and skills and learn English. But the main reason we are here is to bring a message of love and peace” he says. “We must work together and learn from each other. Everybody is different so we have to learn from each other to make the world a better place. Forget the politics and the media. This is our challenge and responsibility, our duty to change the bad ideas. My friends and family they don’t know about Americans but now, they will know how nice and helpful they are.”

In the end he had time to mention their Intensive English Program teacher, Connie Hanna, who he thanked for her caring and support.

“She made me believe women have the power to handle everything – and so we have the responsibility when we go back home to teach about what we learned here”.