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The International Week at AUK, an Annual Celebration of Diversity

International Week at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) is an annual event that takes place on the University's campus to celebrate cultural diversity within the AUK community. This year marks the 9th consecutive International Week, which included such activities as cooking competitions, a Global Village where international students got the opportunity to showcase their own countries' traditions, and the Parade of Nations. International Week is organized each year by the Office of Student Life with the aim to promote cultural exchange and understanding within the AUK community, and to enhance global and social awareness among its students. This year's Week began with students competing in a trivia quiz that tested their general knowledge of the different countries in the world.

"This year we saw so many students proudly representing their countries and cultures," said Dr. Carol Ross, Vice President of Student Affairs at AUK. She explained that the International Week provides a venue for members of the AUK community to embrace the cultural diversity that exists at the University.

Each year, representatives from the countries are assigned booths in the Central Hallway of the campus to showcase their cultures and create a "Global Village". Like every year, the booths competed for the Best Country Representation by displaying traditional clothing, books, music, and, of course, food. This year's winners were the Iranian, Pakistani, and Egyptian booths.

Cultural diversity was expressed through a variety of activities and competitions that took place throughout the Week. One of the more competitive activities was the cooking competition. Each participant was required to present traditional dishes from their own countries. Although not all the countries participated, there was a variety of cuisines for the judges to sample from; Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, and Armenia. Kuwait and Egypt were declared the winners of the competition.

International Week ended with the Parade of Nations, led by Kuwaiti flag, which was followed by 32 other flags of countries represented in AUK. Following the Parade, Dr. Nizar Hamzeh, AUK President, introduced the cultural showcase, which featured performances from 8 different countries. The Best Cultural Showcase title went to Armenia, while second place went to Palestine, and third place to Kuwait. This concluded the week-long celebration of diversity.

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Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 31st March 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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