By Yasmin Tadjdeh, News Editor

Students participating in last week’s International Week were treated to culture that not many students know: The Culture of the Horn.

On Wednesday, the Eritrean and Somali Student Association hosted their cultural night in the Johnson Center’s Bistro.

The night, which featured poetry, traditional foods, student presentations, song performances and a fashion show, was created to showcase the unique culture of the Horn of Africa.

“[We hosted the event] to allow everyone to experience the diverse cultures of the Horn of Africa,” said Abdifatah Sh-Ibrahim, the vice president of the Somali Student Association. “Our goal is to . . . highlight each other’s cultures . . . and to show that unity is possible.”

“Among the Mason community we want to break the stereotype that the Horn is simply a conflict ridden part of the world,” said Sh-Ibrahim. “ Ultimately, we wanted to celebrate and showcase our cultures.”

One of the highlights of the evening was the fashion show.

Yasmin Mahmoud-Mirreh, a sophomore global affairs major and participator in the fashion show, said “The girls wear the traditional dress, [which consists of] three parts: a scarf, a dress and a skirt . . . [The dress] is see-through, [so we wear] a skirt underneath.”

Sh-Ibrahim was also pleased with the fashion show.

“My favorite part of the night was the fashion show because we not only got to showcase our tradition attire, but also the influence of hip-hop on young Somalis,” said Sh-Ibrahim.

Mahmoud-Mirreh was excited about the cultural night because it was a chance “to show off our culture,” she said. “I don’t think a lot of people are aware on campus that we have a Somalian . . . [presence], and a very strong one, too.”

According to Sh-Ibrahim, the event, which had been in the works since February, had close to 200 people in attendance.

For those in the crowd, they hoped the night would be a way for them to better understand Somali culture.
“I’ve never really known much about Somalian culture, so I’m hoping that this [event] will educate me,” said Eba Siddig, a junior community health major.

For more information on the Somali Student Association and events that it will be putting on in the future, please visit or their Facebook page.