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Participants in the International Street Fair flag parade gather at the stage in front of Alumni Gateway in April 2016. 

48th annual International Week to include panels, talent show and street fair

When Carla Triana first saw the flags in Baker Center and on College Green during International Week as a freshman, Ohio University really felt like a home to her.

“I felt more included and my culture was embraced,” Triana, the president-elect of International Student Union, said. OU’s International Week began Sunday and ends on Sunday, April 16. The week includes more than a dozen events including a talent show, a diversity panel, a dance night and a street fair.

The event is hosted by the International Student Union and sponsored by many other organizations, including the University Program Council, the Campus Involvement Center and the Black Student Cultural Programming Board. This year will be the 48th annual international week.

Triana, a senior studying international business, said ISU is trying to make the experience include someone for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re making it more interactive and trying to get ISU members to be more involved,” Triana said.

One of the main events of the week is the keynote speaker. This year’s speaker is Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who will be giving a talk called “Life without Basketball.” She founded Muslim Girls Hoop Too and is a former standout high school and college basketball player who was denied the opportunity to play professionally because of the ban of hijabs by the International Basketball Federation. Her organization provides awareness about problems surrounding female Muslim athletes and tries to prevent what happened to her from happening to others.

“I think her story is fascinating how she didn’t let that certain circumstance put her down,” Triana said. “Instead, she figured out a way to make something out of (it.)”

Hashim Pashtun, the current president of ISU, said he thinks Abdul-Qaadir’s talk will be relatable to women, international students and athletes.

“I think that she will be able to connect well with the students,” Pashtun, a doctoral student studying civil engineering, said.

There are also events such as a diversity abroad panel and an event called “Around the World,” which is where representatives from different countries will teach others about their country and answer any questions people might ask.

“I think that the domestic population tends to not really be involved with the international community,” Triana said. “IWeek is a great opportunity for you to learn and talk with people who are different from you.”

The other main event will be the annual International Street Fair, in which many of the different member organizations of ISU will have tables selling food and putting on activities and performances.

Pashtun encouraged students to take advantage of the events available to them on campus, including International Week because it is an opportunity they will not get after they graduate.

“It’s kind of like if you sign up for a Netflix account but you never watch the shows,” Pashtun said.

The week is full of fun events that are meant to educate all students on campus about the cultures of their peers.

“With everything that’s going on in society right now, I think this is a great way to build the community and bridge differences,” Triana said.


If you go:

What: Flags Kick-off

When: 9 a.m., Monday

Where: College Green

Admission: Free

What: Global Scoop

When: 2 p.m., Monday

Where: Bobcat Student Lounge

Admission: Free

What: Women’s Coffee Hour

When: 4 p.m., Tuesday

Where: Women’s Center

Admission: Free

What: Talent Show

When: 6:30, Tuesday

Where: The Athena Cinema, 20 S Court St.

Admission: Free

What: Vegan Cooking

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday

Where: United Campus Ministry

Admission: Free

What: Flavor of the Week

When: 12 p.m., Wednesday

Where: Bobcat Student Lounge

Admission: Free

What: Keynote Speaker: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir “Life without Basketball”

When: 7 p.m., Wednesday

Where: Baker Theater

Admission: Free

What: Around the World

When: 2 p.m., Thursday

Where: Walter Rotunda

Admission: Free

What: Holocaust Remembrance

When: 7 p.m., Thursday

Where: Multicultural Center

Admission: Free

What: Diversity Abroad Panel

When: 2 p.m., Friday

Where: Baker 231

Admission: Free

What: International Dance Night

When: 10 p.m., Friday

Where: Casa Nueva, 6 W State St.

Admission: Free

What: International Street Fair

When: 11 a.m., Saturday

Where: Court Street

Admission: Free

What: World Cup Final Stage

When: 11 a.m., Sunday

Where: Walter Fieldhouse

Admission: Free

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