Club Al-Arabiyya hosted its annual Arabian Nights event on Wednesday in the ACC Ballrooms.
With a large turnout, the ballrooms were filled with applause as the different performers of the night took turns displaying aspects of Arabian Culture.
Student Adviser Saad Haji has been organizing the event for three years with this year being his fourth.
In previous years, Haji has been treasurer, vice president and president. His hope is for people to learn more about the culture at this event.
“I hope they get some knowledge about the Arabian Culture, whether it’s through getting a taste of the food, seeing how the traditional dances look, getting Henna design or just by seeing all of it,” Haji said. “Putting everything together and just seeing an image of the whole culture, being mindful of the differences of the Arabian culture and appreciating it.”
After an introduction by Haji, Hoop Troop did its first performance of the night titled, “Master of Tides.”
This was followed by a slight delay in the show which gave the audience an opportunity to chat, get Henna design tattoos and eat from the assortment of food provided.
The Henna designs cost $2 per person with the proceeds going to Iraqi refugees. The club was also accepted donations for this cause.
Guests were served different foods that were typical of the Arabian culture including seasoned chicken and a rice and vegetable mixture. For desserts, guests ate pudding and baklava.
To continue with the performances left off, Sahriya Zaffe, a Montreal group, commenced a Lebanese Folklore Entrance. This included dancing and clothing that fit the traditional style of the culture.
The group brought Club Al-Arabiyya members and people from the crowd up to join them in dance, bringing life back into the ballrooms.
That wasn’t the only time during the program where audience members were brought up to dance and join in on the festivities.
Every time someone joined the performers, they were cheered on and encouraged with hoots and hollers from the rest of the onlookers.
Along with Hoop Troop, who performed one other time in the event, another campus group called Flow Arts Manifesto was featured during the night’s events.
Flow Arts Manifesto performed three times, the last being a solo performance. This group used flashing hula hoops and juggling equipment to catch the eye of the crowd.
Another highlight of the night was Layal, who shocked the audience when she placed a crown of fire on her head and danced to music of her culture.
Layal also performed with a fan veil to a slower song, enveloped in a glowing light which put the audience in a trance.
Later on she was joined by Pierre Khoury, who had earlier given an enthusiastic dance that had everyone cheering for more.
The purpose of the club is to spread Arabic culture. Arabian Nights was a way for the club to give students on campus an experience of what that culture is like, according to vice president of the club.
“Our club is about spreading knowledge and awareness of the Arabian culture,” Haji said. “What we can do is teach you about the different styles of clothing they wear, different foods that different nations eat, differences in different countries and so on.”
Email Annie Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org