Carnegie Mellon University commemorated Qatar’s National Day by highlighting the country’s traditions and cultural heritage at a community event on campus last week.
National Day is a country-wide commemoration of Qatar's unification, independence and the founding of the State in 1878. It is celebrated on the 18th of December every year.
Carnegie Mellon students, who established the Qatari Student Association in 2009, hosted the event to familiarize non-Qataris with Qatari culture and traditions by showcasing local food, music, clothes, and arts and crafts.
Saleh Al Raisi, president of the Qatari Student Association, sees events like these as integral to uniting Qatar Foundation’s diverse student population.
“We have an obligation to spread awareness about Qatar’s culture and traditions, both to build understanding between students here at the university and throughout Education City, who come from different backgrounds, and for us, as a country, to remember our past,” Al Raisi said.
Ilker Baybars, dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, commented on the celebration, stating: “As National Day approaches, we honor Qatar’s history, accomplishments and commitment to developing a sustainable future. Carnegie Mellon is proud to be part of Qatar Foundation, and remains firmly committed to the National Vision 2030. On behalf of the entire university community, I extend my congratulations to the State of Qatar.”
Wu Kuan Liang, a business administration student from the Singapore Management University on an exchange program at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, shared her reflections on the event: “It is great to experience Arab culture first hand, on the ground. It is much different than learning about it from a textbook. It’s more personal.”
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar hosts a variety of cultural offerings throughout the academic year, including yearly exchange programs between students from Qatar and the United States.