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University of Iowa News Release


April 11, 2008

Photo: The Bosnian dance troupe, Kolo, from Waterloo, performs during the 2007 Bridging Fiesta.

UI Bridging Fiesta features rich diversity in community April 19

Come hear Scottish bagpipes and Nubian songs from Sudan and view performances of Indian, West African, Rwandan and Chinese umbrella dances all under one roof during the third annual Bridging Fiesta Saturday, April 19 in the second-floor ballroom of the University of Iowa's Iowa Memorial Union. The UI Organization for the Active Support of International Students (OASIS) and the UI Student Ambassadors are hosting the event, which runs from 6 to 11 p.m.

The event is designed to promote peaceful coexistence among students, staff and faculty of the UI community. Event co-sponsors include UI Student Government, UI International Programs and the UI Office of International Students and Scholars.

This year, the Bridging Fiesta will showcase break dancing, Belgium guitar music and a performance using a Turkish string instrument called the Saz in addition to many other solo performances. OASIS will also host a fashion show featuring traditional African clothing.

Admission is free and open to the public. Iowa Memorial Union Catering and local restaurants Sichuan Village, Nile Valley, New York Deli and Masala will provide food and refreshments.

"We are dedicated to bridging various communities based on one's nationality, creating a cohesive UI international student body, expanding awareness of the enriching presence of the international community to the UI and local Iowa City community, and to providing resources and proactive support to all international students and scholars," said Ozgen Kilic, an industrial engineering student in the UI College of Engineering from Turkey and Bridging Fiesta public relations director.

As the largest student-operated multicultural event, the Bridging Fiesta attracts 500 people annually and is an opportunity for international students to represent their cultures to the UI community and the general public.

For more information or special accommodations, contact Kilic at 319-621-7985 or Su Zhang at

OASIS provides a welcoming environment for UI international students and works to unify and strengthen the international community. The group works with other organizations on campus to facilitate integration of international and domestic students outside of the classroom. For more information on OASIS, visit

OASIS is affiliated with International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs, and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information on International Programs, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026; Ozgen Kilic, OASIS, 319-621-7985,; Writer: Gloria Hurtado