Running a friendly and international society

by Salma Elnagar on 3 May 2017

I was in touch with the Arab Society before I even started at Lucy Cavendish. I’m currently the only Egyptian student here at the College and I wanted to make contact with other Cambridge students from Arabic countries. In our society, we have members from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Saudi Arabia and all around the world too like European countries, Latin America and the US. We are open to all, and many people come along just because it is a friendly, international society.

We run about eight events every term, and the most popular involve drinking tea and coffee and eating Arabic snacks like dates, biscuits, baklawa and sweets. We also organize formal dinners, sport events and movie nights. It’s a relaxed and sociable atmosphere and often 60 people will show up for an event like the Tea and Coffee evening. We participated in an International Food Festival too, with other international societies like Belgian, French, Russian and Italian societies. During Michaelmas and Lent Terms, we also organised Arabic classes in that were taught by committee members, including myself (they took place in the Tutorial rooms in Oldham Hall at Lucy Cavendish this year).

It’s a great time for new people to join the Arab Society as we’re holding our elections for the new committee soon. I’d recommend it as it’s so diverse and welcoming. Our membership is for life, and many alumni stay in touch with us; we have a mailing list of about 500 people. Our next social is on 11 May. Food and refreshments will be provided, along with lovely company and Arabic music in the background. Find out more here.

Being President of the Arab Society has shown me how much I enjoy managing people and events. I will seek out leadership roles now in the future, as I have found this experience very rewarding. Without it, I might not have run for my latest role as Vice President of the Students’ Union at Lucy Cavendish.

I felt at home straight away when I arrived here, and I hope I can make others feel the same way!

To find out more about the society and our events, please visit our Facebook page here.

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