By Amir Al Tamimi
GROSSMONT COLLEGE — A chain dance called a dabkka, strong coffee, sweets
and candies were among the features of the Arabic Club’s exhibit in the
Upper Quad during Grossmont’s 50th anniversary festival on Saturday,
And there was the music played by disc jockey Eavn Hermiz, songs and
melodies from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt that drew many visitors to
the booth, where some students donned Middle Eastern clothing and others
dressed in western garb.
The club has been in existence 15 years, watched over by faculty members
Sonia Ghattas, Jyryes Hadad and Yusra Qudeimat, who identified their
homelands respectively as Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.
Besides explaining Arab culture and achievements to booth visitors, who
included Chancellor Cindy L. Miles, Arabic Club members also spoke of
their studies and their aspirations.
For example, Suzan Al Sadi said “I’ve finished my fourth semester at GC,
and hope to get my certificate in the medical field. Heyam Issa,
finishing a third semester, is majoring in fine arts. Omar Mohamed and
Josef Korkees are completing their English-as-a-Second-Langauge studies.
Back home in Iraq, they had their degrees and their careers, but in the
United States, it’s necessary to start again.
Starting again as an immigrant was a common theme for discussion at the
booth, and the Arabic Club is now arranging to show in a few weeks a
movie about an Arab immigrant who came to America to have a new life.
Tamimi is El Cajon bureau chief for the GC Summit. He may be contacted at email@example.com