International Education Week celebrated at Owens

By Scott Fennell Jr., Culture Critic

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International Education Week was Nov. 12-16. It is acknowledged around the world, and was celebrated right here on Wednesday at Owens Community College in Heritage Hall.

The International Event had presentations from students of 22 different countries represented here at Owens. I had the opportunity to talk to a couple people involved, take some photos, and try some international foods.

Walking into the room, I saw flags and posters from countries all across the globe. People were walking around, absorbing information and having conversations. There were tables in the middle of the room where people tried new and exciting foods. You also heard the masterful DJing of Drew Scott from OCCR.

The event was sponsored by the International Club, the Muslim Student Association, and Kayla Balinger.

Balinger is an Owens career advisor who also works as a liaison for the international students at the college. She helps them find jobs and internships, among other things. She facilitated the event and made sure everyone felt included and got involved in the program.

Sitting at the Muslim Student Association table was Teinna Parker and Ali Assaad. They are the president and vice president of their clubs, respectively. One of the biggest draws to their table (besides the cookies) was this giant family faith tree. It might surprise you, but their tree starts the same as Christianity, with Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel.

The two faiths are really not that different at their cores. They had a copy of the Quran that I got to peak through, which I plan to eventually read. You can join their organization or sign up for emails, whether or not you are Muslim and are looking for some community here at Owens, or just someone interested in acceptance.

I also had the opportunity to speak with the president of the International Club, Jesse Boakye. Boakye is a student from the Ashanti region of Ghana. He is a part of the Akan tribe. He came to Owens to pursue a degree in business. He chose Owens specifically because he had an uncle that came here previously, then transferred to the University of Toledo. He plans to take his degree back to Ghana to improve the way their world operates. He says that Ghana ‘lacks innovation.’ He wants to create jobs and, of course, innovate.

If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the International Event last week, it is held annually. Try to make it out to the one held next year! There is a lot to learn and plenty of good people to meet.

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