By Chris Musick, Assistant Vice President for International Affairs, Chatham University
A group of Chatham international students participated in the first of the “Cathedral Tour Series” by going to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the First Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh. It was interesting for the Muslim and Buddhist students to witness a mass and have a discussion on religious differences over pizza. A smaller group returned to St. Paul’s to hear an organ concert on the splendid pipe organ by German organist, Thiemo Janssen.
The next tours will be to the East Liberty Presbyterian Church and the Rodef Shalom Congregation. The purpose of the tours are to introduce students from diverse religious traditions to the diversity of religious practices in the U.S. in a supportive environment.
By Brigette Bernagozzi, ELP Instructor, Chatham University
Chatham recently hosted a field trip to the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. Thirty international students and one American student attended. A fun time was enjoyed by all! The group, which included students from Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, and Germany, spent two nights in the city. The hostel was close to the Metro and bus lines, so students were able to travel around DC with ease.
On Friday, students were led to the White House by Chatham faculty and staff. Everyone hoped to catch a glimpse of President Obama while taking photos of his beautiful home. After that, some enjoyed dinner in Chinatown. Others toured three memorial sites on foot with a guide. They snapped photos of the impressive Lincoln Memorial, which features an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln and an excellent view of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument. Other tour stops included the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the World War II Memorial, whose fountains were lit at night.
On Sunday and Monday, students had free time. They explored local sites such as the Air and Space Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and the U.S. Capitol Building.
By Samaher Shikh, ELP Graduate Assistant, Graduate Student in Biology
There is a decent number of Saudi students at Chatham University. The number of Saudi students has increased in the United States since the government scholarship opened in 2010. As Saudi students come from different cultures, they face many challenges. However, Saudi students at Chatham University are always together to help each other out. We share everything together and celebrate many Muslims celebrations together. Just recently, we celebrated Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is the second biggest religious holiday celebrated by Muslims each year. We fast the previous day hoping for God to forgive us for all their last year’s sins. We sacrifice an animal such as a goat or sheep to honor the sacrifice of prophet Ibrahim of his son to follow God’s command. All families and relatives celebrate the Eid day by wearing new clothes, visiting each other, and giving money and candies as gifts to children. We end the day by having a big dinner together and staying up late up late to chat or watching TV. All in all, Saudi students at Chatham University are one family which we all proud to be part of.