Rea Nassif ’24
Introducing a new club to the school can be a daunting task, but it can also have such rewarding outcomes. The addition of an Arab Students Association was a win for the Middle-Eastern community that felt as though they were not being represented by the other organizations at Holy Cross. As a first generation Lebanese-American student, I am very grateful that this club was formed and even more grateful to be asked to fulfill the event coordinator position for the organization. Being Lebanese is a large part of my identity and I am constantly looking for ways to navigate this part of me in places on campus in order to both promote my individuality and foster meaningful relationships with others looking to do the same.
After consulting with the president of the club, Bella Kareh ‘24, she claims that she “started this club because Holy Cross did not have a multicultural organization geared towards Middle Easterners.” She also believes that “every ethnic background deserves to have a space where they can learn from each other as well as educate the greater Holy Cross community.” This club strives to nurture the Middle Eastern and Arab community at the College as well as educate the non-Arab community about our culture. This is not limited to Arab students, rather, we hope to promote a sense of belonging and acceptance among all students.
The Arab Students Association will begin meeting monthly on Thursdays, from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. During these meetings, we hope to come up with lessons for the members to learn about specific cultural traditions that are a part of our identities. For example, Gabriel Hanna ‘24, the secretary of the club, is planning to bring in a Middle Eastern dish and desserts such as Baklava in order for members to be exposed to the meals from this culture.
This club is also meaningful because the Arab world is composed of many different backgrounds, and this club encapsulates that. Within the E-Board, there are Lebanese, Egyptian, and Palestinian backgrounds. In addition to the Arab backgrounds, treasurer Andrea Correia ‘24 is Portuguese, proving how one does not even need to be from the Middle East to have a position in the club. This encourages diversity not only among the student body, but also through participation. As more students join the club, we hope to promote a sense of diversity and expose everyone to the different cultures and lifestyles that come with them.