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AUK Celebrates Diversity, Holds 10th Annual International Week

The International Week at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) is an annual event on campus that celebrates cultural diversity within the AUK community. This year marked the 10th consecutive International Week and included a host of diversity-themed events beginning Sunday March 15th and continuing through Wednesday, March 18th. Events included a lecture, movie night, cooking competition and the highly anticipated Global Village, where students had the opportunity to showcase traditions from their countries. International Week is organized each year by the Office of Student Life to promote cultural exchange and understanding within the AUK community and to enhance global and social awareness.

This year's Week began with students competing in a two-day round of Sporcle trivia quiz testing their general knowledge of countries around the globe. Dr. Chris Ohan, former AUK professor, contributed to the week's happenings in his Monday morning lecture on global sensitivity entitled "Balancing Tolerance, Diversity and Academic Freedom in a Politically Correct World."

International Week also included a series of foreign movie nights, featuring such movies as the politically controversial Indian film My Name Is Khan and an Iranian drama called The Painting Pool - stories of family dynamics, global intolerance and a changing world. All of these activities and events exposed AUK students to a range of different international and human experiences, while committing to the spirit of the week.

Each year, student representatives from countries participating in International Week are assigned booths in the Central Hallway of the campus to showcase their cultures by displaying traditional clothing, books, music and foods, creating the Global Village. The booths are then rated by judges for the Best Country Representation Award. This year's winners were Lebanon, Pakistan and Palestine, coming in first, second and third place, respectively.

One of the more anticipated activities of the week was the cooking competition. Participants were asked to present traditional dishes from their countries. Although not every country was represented, there were many cuisines for the judges to sample, including dishes from Kuwait, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Iran. The Best Main Dish Award went to Syria, while the Best Dessert Award went to Egypt.

International Week concluded, as is tradition, with the Parade of Nations; a parade of flags representing countries of members from the AUK community, led by Kuwaiti flag. Following the Parade was the Cultural Showcase, which featured an array of performances from 6 different countries; Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Iran, Egypt and Kuwait. The Best Cultural Showcase title went to Lebanon, second place to Palestine, and third place to Egypt.

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Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 31 March 2015

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2015

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