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Students to celebrate Saudi National Day in USU

The event will take place in the University Student Union Ballroom Monday night from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cal State Long Beach’s Saudi Student Organization is bringing a small piece of Saudi Arabia to Long Beach Monday during its first on-campus event celebrating Saudi National Day.

On this day, Saudi’s dress up in green and white, the country’s national colors, and celebrate the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to Ahmed Khayyat, Saudi Student Organization (SSO) president and co-founder.

The SSO, a new organization for Saudi students on campus, is hosting a celebration in the University Student Union Ballroom Monday night from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to anyone interested in attending.

Khayyat said the event also aims to introduce Saudi culture to Americans, who may not be familiar with the culture.

“Celebrating Saudi National Day with guests is just part of our culture, to share what we have with others,” he said. “We have very strong social relations with each other and when we have someone who is different we just welcome that person, regardless of that persons religion or ethnicity.”

Khayyat said that people, often unknowingly, attribute incorrect characteristics to Saudi Arabian life, and that Monday’s event should help clear up some of those misconceptions.

“Many people don’t know about Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The fact is, we have beaches, we have skyscrapers, we have cars. We don’t ride camels to school.”

To showcase the unique cultural aspects of Saudi Arabia, Khayyat said traditional Saudi food, like balela — a bean dish — grape leaves and Arabic coffee will be served. Attendees will be able to dress up in traditional Saudi clothes for photos at the photo booth, watch a documentary about Saudi Arabia, and have their names written in Arabic on a name card.

Khayyat said he expects roughly 200 people to attend the event. For more information visit the Saudi Students Organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ssoatcsulb.

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