Traditional clothing, dances, food and more were on full display in the Memorial Union Quad on Sunday afternoon at the fifth annual Ettihad Cultural Festival.
The Ettihad Cultural Center hosted the event, with more than 15 booths representing countries from South, Southwestern and Central Asia, as well as Northern Africa. Each booth offered tastes from home and historical information about their countries of origin.
One of the event’s goals was to bring knowledge to the Corvallis community and dispel myths about Ettihad culture.
Hashim Alyousef, a Master’s student studying civil engineering, is from Qatar and enjoyed the opportunity to improve the outlook on his home region.
“I’m excited to share my culture,” Alyousef said. “Everything from food to things we are doing and things we have already done. The problem is the Middle East gets a lot of bad attention. So when these events come by, it’s fun for us to show off all this good stuff. It’s not always war.”
In preparation for the festival, a kitchen was rented out for each of the countries to make their traditional foods. This was a highlight for Iran native and plant breeding and genetics Ph.D. student Golnaz Komaei.
“It was really cool to see all the countries gathering together and serving traditional foods. We can ask about their history,” Komaei said.
Multiple groups would use the kitchen at once, so it was a great opportunity for participants to learn about each other.
The Memorial Union Quad was near capacity with hundreds of attendees and participants. Many participants choose to wear traditional clothes and some booths allowed people to try on attire for photos.
“My favorite thing to do was to dress up in my traditional clothing,” said Kuwaiti nuclear engineering student Latif Alawadhi. “We love to teach people about our culture and we want to know more about their culture as well.”