Saudi student booth earns top recognition at Florida Tech international festival
The Saudi Student Union booth was named “best booth” at the 7th Annual International Festival held on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) located in east Central Florida. Company-sponsored students have an active student organization and take every opportunity to share the Saudi culture.
HOUSTON – The Saudi Student Union at Florida Institute of Technology earned top recognition recently for its exhibit booth at the school’s 7th Annual International Festival.
For more than eight hours, students and members of the community packed the booth to learn about the Saudi culture and people … and their level of interest resulted in the Saudi Student Union receiving the title of “best booth.”
“It was amazing. We had one of the largest booths with lots of magazines, books, music CDs, calendars, posters, flags and gifts for visitors,” said Hamad Almohamedh, president of the Saudi Student Union. “We definitely had an impact on building our image and reputation within the community." Almohamedh is a company-sponsored student working on his doctorate in computer engineering.
He added that the event has gained in popularity and the Saudi students are one of approximately 15 international student organizations on campus. Two years ago there were around 1,500 visitors at the festival and this year an estimated 3,000 attended.
With the help of the Aramco Services Company (ASC) Public Affairs Department, the students were supplied with Saudi Aramco World magazines and other items such as Saudi lapel pins.
Wearing traditional clothing and spending time to talk with each visitor about Saudi culture helps further understanding of the society and its religion, and promotes open discussion of common values rather than differences.
“Local community events, such as these, are perfect examples of ‘cultural bridging’ and the fact that our students are taking on the role of being ambassadors for the Kingdom and for Saudi Aramco here in the United States makes it a grassroots effort that is highly effective,” commented Ali Al-Mutairi, director of ASC Public Affairs. Today’s young people develop and shape opinions for generations to come, he added.
According to Almohamedh, there were more than 40 Saudi students helping throughout the day. One of ASC’s key functions is to help students become successful in their academic careers in the United States and Canada.
Throughout the day visitors crowded the Saudi student booth to learn about culture and leave with small gifts from Saudi Arabia. Here Hamad Almohamedh, President of the Saudi Student Union at Florida Tech presents Jackie Lingner, Assistant Director of International Students and Scholar Services, Florida Tech, with a gift bag from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.