By Christiane Newell
William Peace University hosted six female students from Qatar University the week of January 27. For many of them, it was the first time visiting the United States.
While they were here, the students toured the WPU campus, attended a WPU basketball game, got a poetry lesson from Tonita Few, sat in on an anthropology class with Dr. Laura Vick and even received their own WPU ID cards.
The students gave a presentation on Thursday, highlighting the history of Qatar: the past, the present, and the future. They served cookies with date-filling and coffee and even let WPU students try on an abaya, which is a traditional cloak.
The women visited many hotspots in Raleigh, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Titanic exhibit and Artspace, where they painted and made prints of WPU’s iconic Main building. The students even attended a Hurricanes hockey game and watched the NC Symphony rehearse at Meymandi Hall. They also attended a Wake Tech culinary class where they made chocolates, and toured the NC State textile school.
Rubi Hernandez, a WPU junior, led the Qatar students on a trip to Ornamentea where the girls made rings. While here, they indulged at local restaurants like Sitti, The Village Draft House, Greek Fiesta, Chick-fil-a, and The Cheesecake Factory, which many of the Qatari
students said they were looking forward to trying.
On Wednesday, January 30, the students watched the William Peace University singers perform at Trinity United Methodist Church for the benefit concert which was held for the couple who was assaulted in the Oakwood neighborhood.
The students also attended a performance of “Bus Stop,” a play
performed at Raleigh Little Theatre.
Shopping was a favorite among the Qatari women, and they enjoyed visiting Cameron Village, Crabtree Valley Mall and the The Pink Alli, a boutique in Cary owned by Allison Leggett Woolard, a Peace College alumna.
It was a very busy week for the visiting students, but they said they loved each and every moment of it. “The thing that I love most is the atmosphere here at the university,”said Ghada, one of the visiting students. “You guys are just so close and do everything together. You have so many activities to do here.”
By the end of their visit, the group agreed that the hockey game was their favorite activity.
“I loved my experience with the girls,” said Tarecka Payne, a WPU sophomore who spent most of the week with the visiting students. “They are all beautiful, modest and kind. I loved trying on the abaya and learning Arabic from Anfal. I think of all of them as my new Peace and Qatari sisters.”