International students bring Omani culture to Kent State

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Kent State’s International Student Council hosts Omani Night, a celebration of Omani culture, in the Governance Chambers Friday. 

Katia Rodriguez

Oman is roughly a 22-hour flight from Northeast Ohio, but international students from Oman brought a taste of their culture to Kent State Friday.

Omani Night brought the Omani community at Kent State together to celebrate and reminisce its culture. From children to adults of different backgrounds, the Kent community came to learn about the Omani culture with the people of Oman.

“I like seeing the younger students doing events like this where they represent our culture in this way to see what Oman is like,” said Sara Al Harrasi, a senior global communication studies major.

“Most Americans here do not know anything about Oman, so we have to teach people,” said Mohammed Alnadhair, a freshman biochemistry major and one of the speakers.

From Alnadhair’s perspective, Americans are willing to know about other cultures, which is why it is important for Kent State to have events like this.

“There can be a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of people who don’t see how different cultures are. Events like these bring people together and give a chance to know about the Omani culture,” Al Harrasi said.

The event sponsored by the International Student Council started with the Omani national anthem and went into information about the culture, politics, currency, tips to surviving an Omani school and where the country is located.

“I was very happy to see how everything was organized,” Al Harrasi said. “Because I am Omani, the information was not new for me. I was focusing more on how they were presenting things and how the audience was reacting. I like how they mentioned the schools and how honest they were. It brought a lot of good memories.”

Al Harrasi said she was proud to see her peers pull off this event for their culture.

“I was so proud of them. It was so nice and everyone enjoyed themselves,” Al Harrasi said.

For Mohammed Alnadhair, presenting made him feel like he was back home.

“I am a presenter back home so when I presented today, I felt the same as when I was home (in Oman).”

Alnadhair said presenting also brought back memories about his first time coming to Kent State.

“The first week I called [home] maybe five times. My mom now texts me every morning and asks, ‘How are you feeling today?’ Day after day, month after month I get used to homesickness,” Alnadhair said.

Alnadhair overcomes his homesickness now by teaching himself to make traditional Omani dishes, like rice with chicken, for his friends and roommates.

“With cooking and all of this, you start to feel okay and start to feel less homesick,” Alnadhair said.

Katia Rodriguez covers international students. Contact her at [email protected]