“It broadens the horizons of the students who have never left the borders of Indiana or who haven’t been able to travel to other continents,” he said. “It gives you a better understanding of being a world citizen.”
The day honored the 83rd Saudi National Day, a holiday celebrating the nation’s identify and unification by the late King Ibn Saud. It is traditionally celebrated on Sept. 23 each year.
Al-Hammad was the first of the 30 Saudi students to enroll in IUK, arriving in 2012. He’s encouraged others to follow him. He said there are approximately 70,000 Saudi students studying in the United States.
“We study in the United States for its high-quality education and because of its friendly people,” he said. “Since we are here in Kokomo, we wanted to show our culture, our celebrations and our food. We are so happy for the support we have received. It really means a lot to us.”
Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said she was pleased to see a large crowd participating.
“It was fantastic to watch our American students and our Saudi students interacting with one another, sharing the food, and learning about their cultural activities,” she said. “We’re very appreciative to them for bringing their culture to our campus, to expand our horizons. I know IU Kokomo is better because they are here, and we will continue to learn from one another.”