The Parade of Nations: Celebrating Multiculturalism at KAUST

By | March 12, 2015

Last week KAUST hosted the annual Parade of Nations, an event that invites residents to show their national pride by dressing up in their national dress and visiting stands with information about each of the countries.

One of the wonderful parts of living at KAUST is the opportunity to connect with people from all around the world on a daily basis. There are over 90 nationalities represented in a community of just over 6000 people – and it shows! I regularly look around a table of friends at dinner and realize that we’re all from different countries. And, Jordan’s best friends in his daycare are British, Saudi, Slovakian, Brazilian, and Chinese. Diversity and multiculturalism are not corporate buzzwords here… they’re what we live every day.

One of the long-standing jokes about living here is that the question “where are you from” can be pretty complicated for some people to answer. For many people it involves saying their nationality, their place of birth, their most recent location etc – because all of these are different places. My children for instance have lived their whole lives in Saudi, but they are American/British. It’ll never be too straightforward for them!

Anyhow, back to the Parade… The Parade of Nations is entirely volunteer-driven. The people who host the stands do so because they want to share about their culture with the rest of the community. The stands are well developed with food and cultural information. Walking around the stands is like taking a very quick round-the-world trip.

This event is my favorite of the year, not only because it is the biggest community event at KAUST, but because it really brings out the best in everyone.

In writing this post, I wanted to include the community’s voice. So, I reached out to our community Facebook page and invited them to submit photos from this year’s event for readers to see. They are all included below. If you were there and would like to add a photo, please do so in the comments of this post.

Looking forward to many more Parade of Nations events to come!

parade of nations

Syria // Photo used with permission from Marwa Ani

 

parade of nations

Egypt // Photo used with permission from Walaa Emara

 

parade of nations

Egypt // Photo used with permission from Walaa Emara

 

parade of nations tunisia

Tunisia // Photo used with permission from Sana Ghedira

 

parade of nations pakistan

Pakistan // Photo used with permission from Nazish Ghauri

 

parade of nations pakistan

Pakistan // Photo used with permission from Sana Bilal

 

parade of nations

USA // Photo used with permission from Julie Bishop Thurston

 

parade of nations

Brits together // Photo used with permission from Rukhsana Ansari

 

parade of nations sri lanka usa

Sri Lanka/USA // Photo used with permission from Kristin Elizabeth Anson

 

parade of nations

Palestine // Photo used with permission from Asil Masry

 

parade of nations

Taiwan // Photo used with permission from Jill Doyle

 

parade of nations ireland

Team Ireland! // Photo used with permission from Bronagh Hogan

 

parade of nations

Photo used with permission from Sarah Craft

 

parade of nations

United Kingdom // Photo used with permission from Sadiqa Siddique

 

parade of nations

Philippines // Photo used with permission from Jun Jun Kulitz

 

parade of nations

Philippines // Photo used with permission from Jun Jun Kulitz

 

parade of nations egypt

Egypt // Photo used with permission from Rehab Osman

 

parade of nations

Philippines and Morocco // Photo used with permission from Ammar Benamr

 

parade of nations saudi

Saudi // Photo used with permission from Alaa Sameer Oraif

 

parade of nations jordan

Leen from Jordan // Photo used with permission from Ameen Ghawanmeh

 

parade of nations iran

Iran // Photo used with permission from Leila Ebz

 

Parade of nations kenya

Kenya // Photo used with permission from Joyce Nailantoi

 

parade of nations jordan

Nadeen and Sami from Jordan // Photo used with permission from Ameen Ghawanmeh

 

parade of nations egypt

The little Pharaohs from Egypt // Photo used with permission from Nadine Hosny El Said

 

parade of nations egypt

Hamza from Egypt // Photo used with permission from Nathasha Jerry

 

parade of nations ireland

Ireland // Photo used with permission from Susanne Cunningham

 

parade of nations lebanon

Lebanon // Photo used with permission from Bassem Kattan

 

parade of nations egypt

Egypt // Photo used with permission from Yasmeen Hashish

 

Parade of nations morocco

Morocco // Photo used with permission courtesy Nourel Rezki

 

 

You can see more photos from previous Parade of Nations’ via the KAUST Flickr page.

 

 

Follow me on social media: