Omani Student Organization celebrate country’s culture, National Day


The Omani Student Organization performs an Omani wedding tradition to celebrate Oman’s National Day on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

Carolyn Pippin

The national anthem of Oman created a traditional environment as members of the Omani Student Organization sang along.  

Oman’s National Day celebrates its president, Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This year marked the 44th celebration on Nov. 18, the president’s birthday.

The event, held in the Student Center Ballroom on Wednesday night, showed how the Omani Student Organization wanted to celebrate their country, located within Southeast Asia with a population of 3.92 million people, Wisal al Maimani, a sophomore biotechnology major, said.

“Omani celebrates independence, progress and prosperity,” said Sultan al Busaidi, the former president of the Omani Student Organization.

Ali al Amri, the current president of the Omani Student Organization, said the country had three schools 44 years ago and after the president came, there are now thousands of schools and more than 20 universities.

The event continued with a reading from the Quran, a poem in Arabic and presentations about the country.

In between presentations, members of the Omani Student Organization demonstrated a traditional wedding.

The members wore traditional clothing and the women washed the bride’s feet and gave her a henna tattoo as wedding preparations. The audience clapped along to the music that accompanied the wedding ceremony.

“Henna has many benefits, not only used as a traditional medicine but also it’s to add beauty to our hands and it’s good for our skin too,” said freshman electronic media major Zahra al Balushi. Shortly after, the men formed a line and chanted to the stage, where they performed a traditional dance.

After the presentations, servers welcomed the audience to get food from the buffet set up at the side of the ballroom, purchased by the Office of Global Education.

“They funded the entire buffet right now, which is the biggest expense we have,” al Busaidi said.

The Omani Student Organization encouraged attendees to partake in henna tattoos and turban wrapping in the balcony.

Al Amri expressed how important it was to show this to American students.

“It’s amazing how like every year on this day of the year we remember how Oman was before and how our parents used to live,” al Amri said. “I remember my mother says they were living in houses made of clay.”

Al Amri said every year you notice something getting better about Oman.

The country provided 2,000 Omani students with scholarships to come to the U.S. to go to school. Sixty-eight of those students attend Kent State.

“We start with an English course if it’s needed and then four years of the major,” Amri said. “I’m in the JMC major, so I like how we study.”

An organization did not exist when Omanis first came to Kent and consisted only of 16 students.

“The people who are from D.C. that were being thanked on stage today are the people who are funding our organization and they’re helping us a lot with our academic scholarship,” Busaidi said.

The organization wants to make Oman students completely comfortable.

“When we first arrived it was complete chaos,” Busaidi said. “We are trying to make it easy for Oman Kent State students to feel at ease here at Kent State and we also want to represent Oman in the best possible way.”

Carolyn Pippin at [email protected].