ISO brings students together for a fiery night of dance and food during annual "Arabian Nights"

Feba George | The Ticker

Feba George | The Ticker

Students enjoyed a night filled with live singers, belly dancing and falafel at the International Student Organization’s biggest event of the semester “Arabian Nights,” which took place in the Multipurpose Room on April 11th. 

The event was organized by the Baruch International Student Organization and was intended to celebrate Arab culture by offering a taste of Arab art, customs and traditions. It featured both student and professional performances of cultural songs and dance. 

The International Student Organization’s president and host of the event, Richard Rudman, was very pleased with the turnout this year. 

“It was a lot more than expected,” he said. “We have at least 275 people here, always a good thing when there’s a good turnout.” 

As Rudman was hosting the event, he emphasized the International Student Organization’s goal of encouraging diversity, in order to aid international students in adjusting to Baruch. 

As the event was starting off, students were eagerly waiting for the performances to begin. 

Noran Omar, a student, said. “I came last year, and I remember how good the performers were. I hope they’re just as good this year.” 

Most students were particularly excited about the highlight of the show, the belly dancing performance by Syrena Nikole. 

Feba George | The Ticker

Feba George | The Ticker

“I had never seen a belly dancer before, she was so talented. I actually wish I knew more about the Arab culture, I’d like to travel to an Arab country one day and see it firsthand,” student Clifford Lalanne later said. 

Students from the International Student Organization also danced to a Moroccan beat, offering a taste of a different type of Arabic music, other than the Egyptian music that had been playing throughout the night. 

There were numerous singers who performed as well. Singer and songwriter, Neel Nadkarni presented numerous pieces of Bollywood influenced music. 

Singer Rian Jali also performed a number of different genres of music including Beyoncé’s “Halo,” where students began to sway candles and flashlights up in the air to the sound of her voice. 

“I fell in love with the Arab culture today,” student Mohammad Raza said. 

“The beauty that it encapsulates is breathtaking. From the food, to the sounds, and, most brilliant, the dancing. There is not one dull moment. I’m a curious person and after today’s event, I’m happy I made friends with some of the people here and I wish to learn more from them.” 

Some students had expected a wider variety of Arabic music. 

“I loved the event, but as an Arab, I noticed that most of the songs were not Arabic,” student Maryam Saad said. 

“The singers sang in so many other languages, and although these cultures have their own beautiful aspects, I expected to hear a lot more Arabic music, and learn more about the culture.” 

The performances that were presented served to celebrate the long-standing Arab traditions and culture, with all of its intricate designs, dances, and food. 

A similar event that the International Student Organization will be hosting will also have a similar goal, Rudman said. 

“We would like to foster every culture that is represented at Baruch as best we can.”