Torero community meets the Middle East

Abby Gentry | Asst. A& C Editor | The USD Vista

With food, games, and entertainment, Solomon Hall transformed into a space to celebrate and honor the Middle Eastern cultures.  On Thursday, October 8, the Torero Program Board held an event for students to engage in Middle Eastern traditions.  This cultural event was inspired by the lack of knowledge and understanding on University of San Diego’s campus.  The event included food, games, music, and other cultural activities to fully celebrate the beauty of the Middle East.

Sophomore Jasmeen Bains, the TPB multicultural programming coordinator and host of this event, shared her desire for this celebration.

“When I was in high school, I didn’t know a lot about the Middle East, I just kind of had the stereotypical images I’m sure we all have,” Bains said.  “I thought it was one place with camels and a desert but that’s not what the Middle East is at all.”

Bains felt inclined to raise awareness for the many different aspects of the Middle Eastern culture after witnessing the diversity among all of her USD friends from the Middle East.

“When I got to college, I made a lot of Middle Eastern friends and realized that they were all so different from each other,” Bains said.  “I realized the reason they were all so different was because the Middle East itself is so diverse.”

To show the diversity of the region’s cultures, Jasmeen hung flyers on the wall so guests could read about the different Middle Eastern countries and learn about what sets them apart from one another. Each flyer had a photo of the country’s flag, and a few paragraphs about what makes it unique.

There were many different ways for guests to interact and learn more about these diverse countries.  Attendees could chow down on some Middle Eastern food including hummus, pita, falafel, and various other delicacies.  There was a station with people speaking and writing names in Farsi and an area to play games that many children from Egypt and Israel would play hundreds of  years ago.  Also, there was Middle Eastern music playing in the background to help set the festive tone.

Bains was excited for the people who came to the event, hoping they enjoyed their evening learning more about the Middle Eastern culture.

“I am happy for all of the people that did show up, hopefully they are having some food and enjoying themselves,” Bains said. “The point of this event was to showcase the diversity we have here at USD.”