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Daily Egyptian

International food fair spices things up

By Zach McGinnis

The smell of foods from around the world filled the Student Center Wednesday as the International Student Council held its 52nd annual food fair.

The fair featured cuisines from 12 different Registered Student Organizations representing countries including Malaysia, Iran, Bangladesh, and Nepal, among others.

Tickets were sold at the door for 50 cents. Patrons were given tickets to trade for food, and all profits went to the RSOs.

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Jana Simonis, a doctoral student in communication studies from Germany and coordinator of the event, said the fair is one of the largest events the International Council hosts.

“I was really excited and nervous about it too,” she said. “But I think so far I’ve gotten great feedback from a lot of people and it’s really just an amazing turn out.”

Nina Marhamati, a doctoral student in computer science from Iran, said the theme of the fair, “Building Bridges Across Cultures,” was very meaningful to her.

“People can see friendly faces and they can see that people from other countries can be also friendly and connect well for a very short time,” she said.

Nur Athirah Khairuddin, a senior from Malaysia studying mechanical engineering, said the smell of the satay with peanut sauce reminded her of when she was a girl. Every year, her family would have a feast after fasting for 30 days.

“Whenever we cook it, it always reminds me of my family, ever since I was a kid,” she said.

Leo Makhdoom, a graduate student in health education from Turkey, said the important part was to keep the focus on diversity and on the students.

“As a part of the International Student Council, we want our international students to come up, show off their culture, show off their recipes, show off their colors, what they are capable of and how nice they are and change the stereotype basically,” he said.

Zach McGinnis can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter at @zaqmac87 or at 536-3311 ext. 268.

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The student news site of Southern Illinois University