The UNC Persian Cultural Society hosted an event called 1,001 Nights on Thursday night in celebration of Middle Eastern culture. The showcase took place in the Great Hall of the Frank Porter Graham Student Union and featured the Afghan Student Association, Turkish Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine.
Hilda Tajalli, co-president of the Persian Cultural Society, likened the event to a FallFest for Middle Eastern student organizations.
“Because many of the Middle Eastern organizations are so small on campus, we want people to have the chance to be exposed to them,” she said.
About 150 people explored the booths lining the Great Hall. Traditional clothing, books and other cultural objects were on display alongside a variety of foods, including Afghan green tea and dolmeh — stuffed grape leaves — provided by the society.
The society held the first and most recent 1,001 Nights expo in 2012.
Afghan Student Association member Medina Sadat, a first-generation American who has deep ties to her Afghan heritage, said UNC students often get an inaccurate image of Afghanistan.
“The countries represented here are some of the most misunderstood by Americans,” Sadat said. “I hope this event can show a different side that many people don’t get to see.”