The Bobcat family is one that transcends borders, bans, and efforts to intimidate. On Saturday, April 15 Bobcats from all walks of life bared their flags and their souls as they marched down Court Street during the International street fair and parade. The street fair marked the culmination of International Week or OHIOIWEEK17, a week long celebration of international students at Ohio University.
Despite a group having an “Open Carry/Firearm Education Walk” on the same day which drove fear into the minds of many international students, students, faculty and staff, both international and domestic, came out in their numbers, proving that they will not be intimidated.
The street fair began with a parade of students carrying the flags of the countries they are from from the ISFS office to the College Gate where a stage was set up and attendees were treated to performances from all over the world. Walking along court street, people were also able to get a glimpse of many cultures and try international food and drinks.
The highlights of the event were captured and compiled in this short video:
The street fair was the last of a week of activities which included a kick off event and sticking of the flags on the College Green, film screenings, panels and other social events. However, one of the highlights of the week was the keynote speech by Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, a female Muslim basketball player who has been advocating for the right of Muslim women to be able to wear hijabs and play basketball. Listen to an audio recording of Abdul-Qaadir’s speech here:
OHIOIWEEK17 was a collaborative effort between the International Students Union (ISU) and International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS). The staff, graduate assistants and student workers of these organizations, along with many volunteers, worked assiduously to make the week a success. Hear from some of the people who made it all possible here: