Kuwaiti student educates fellow K-Staters for International Coffee Hour

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As part of the International Coffee Hour program, Lolwa Alfoudari, a native of Kuwait and senior in architecture at Kansas State, gave a 30-minute presentation about her home country in the International Student Center Friday afternoon.

Coffee Hour is hosted by the International Student and Scholar Services as a chance for international students to share their countries’ cultures with fellow K-State students.

Benedicta Akley-Quarshie, coordinator of Coffee Hour and graduate student in theater, explained the significance of the program.

“The great thing about this event is that it gives a voice and exposure for many of those less well-known countries that students might not be aware of,” Akley-Quarshie said. “This is our third event, and every time, our student speakers manage to bring with them a full account of what their culture is and how exciting it can be.”

Akley-Quarshie introduced the audience to Alfoudari, and a crowd of students from every background welcomed her with applause.

“I want to thank you all so much for coming to the Coffee Hour,” Alfoudari said. “Today I want to share with you my home country of Kuwait, and everything that makes it special.”

Alfoudari shared the history of the Kuwaiti flag, many of her nation’s past and present leaders, the modern origin of the country on the Arabian Peninsula and what the country’s future holds.

In addition to the speakers’ presentations, one of the key attention grabbers for Coffee Hour is the chance for students to try international cuisine.

“We provide a collection of food from that speaker’s home country for every event,” Akley-Quarshie said. “This week being a presentation over Kuwait, we will be dining on some local Kuwaiti dishes.”

The Kuwaiti food for the audience included machboos (spiced chicken and rice), hasho and aseidah.

Mohammad Alfoudari, Lolwa Alfoudari’s brother, stood in the lobby of the International Student Center and joined in conversation with those in attendance as they enjoyed their Kuwaiti meals. Mohammad Alfoudari described how these events are beneficial to students at K-State.

“My sister and I noticed that not many people know about Kuwait, or rather they know nothing about the culture other than it being in the Middle East,” Mohammad Alfoudari said. “These Coffee Hours seemed like a great opportunity for us to share about Kuwait, so that’s why Lolwa decided to speak and present tonight.”

Stephanie Geven, senior in animal sciences and industry, and her sister Laura Geven, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, enjoyed their Kuwaiti dishes while thinking about the next Coffee Hour.

“We were actually just talking about the next event,” Laura Geven said. “[Akley-Quarshie] mentioned that we should give our experience and culture as Dutch, and we’re actually getting pretty excited about what we can share.”

Stephanie and Laura Geven said they will be presenting a Coffee Hour on their home country, the Netherlands.

“The only thing is, we haven’t planned that much yet,” Stephanie Geven said.

Their Coffee Hour on the Netherlands is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.

Coffee Hour meetings are open to the public, although space is limited. The events are hosted on various dates throughout the semester. Visit the “Coffee Hour” page on the K-State website for more details.

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