Eastern Mediterranean University is home to diverse individuals from all walks of life who come together to acquire the different skills and knowledge that would aid in pursuing their future endeavors. EMU is an institution that not only seeks to make education impactful by inspiring dreams to be accomplished but also makes efforts to ensure that every international student feels at home while learning.
To make it a truly world-class learning environment, various students’ societies representing the over 100 nationalities are recognized by the university to play a mediator’s role between international students, the university management, as well as the host community. These societies afford a sense of belonging and recognition to international students, in addition to serving as forums for showcasing their diversity and strengthening unity among them. With support from EMU’s International Office, students’ societies organize a series of activities and cultural events including independence day celebrations, religious festivals, and the likes to raise awareness and showcase the beauty of their cultures in an international environment. The Nigerian Students’ Society Night is one of such cultural events organized and held annually to celebrate Nigeria by Nigerians in the diaspora, especially from within and beyond the Eastern Mediterranean University.
With the theme “The Nigerian Dream: Celebrating her Audacity”, this year’s NSS Night, a unity-based event, is the 13th in the history of EMU. Held on the 14th of December 2019 at Rauf Raif Denktaş Cultural Centre, the event attracted hundreds of students including non-Nigerians and prominent personalities from Nigeria, including a serving Member of Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives and a multiple award-winning actor of Nigeria’s Nollywood movie industry. It was nothing short of blissful as the event celebrated the beauty and diversity of the Nigerian culture in a fashionably educative yet entertaining manner. Officially kick-starting at 7:22 pm with an opening prayer and the rendition of the Turkish and Nigerian National Anthems, a welcome address was delivered by EMU’s Vice-Rector Student Affairs, Prof. Dr. Sonuç Zorlu Oğurlu. In her address, Prof. Sonuç stated the university loves all of its international students, especially Nigerians and it will continue to do everything within its ability to make EMU a second home for them. She emphasized that the event was organized to give a sense of belonging and recognition to the more than 1,000 Nigerian students out of the over 17,000 international students from different parts of the world. The Vice-Rector concluded her remarks, wishing the students well, with hopes for fruitful and hitch-free deliberation and celebration.
The opening address was followed by a video presentation centered on the amalgamation of Nigeria. The different tribes and ethnic groups existent in the country and their mode of documenting cultural values through artworks like terraculture, trading, and the giant strides achieved by the Nigerian people throughout history following the lives of heroes who fought for the freedom and independence of the country were all showcased in the presentation. It was an entertaining and interactive event that featured, special guests from both the political and entertainment circle, such as Rt. Hon. Amadu Kabiru Mai Palace, Member Representing Gusau/Tsafe Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, and OC Ukeje, a multiple award-winning Nollywood Actor who came from Nigeria to grace the event. There was a great turn-out of enthusiastic students from Cyprus International University and Near East University, dressed in various traditional attires to showcase the diversity of Nigerian culture. Participants at the event were entertained by different music artists, fashion parades, raffle draws, saxophones performance and interactive sessions with the special guests (Mai Palace and OC Ukeje) where they shared their unique in the world of politics and film making. Outstanding Nigerian students were presented with awards of recognition, honor and lifetime achievement. Medals were also presented to those who participated in various sporting activities.
The need to celebrate the uniqueness of Nigeria as a nation and the contributions of Nigerians like Anthony Joshua, Ese Brume and others who have worked hard and continuously strived despite all odds, portends the significance of this year’s theme, which inspired everyone present at the event. In the end, attendees connected with their fellowmen as Nigerian delicacies like jollof rice and light refreshments were served. The night served to remind Nigerians where they came from and the unity and love that exist amongst them even in an international community. It was truly a night to remember at EMU: ‘the home of cultures and knowledge diversity’.