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“SZIA’s International Day spectacle: embracing diversity


ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Zayed Zayed International Academy (SZIA) celebrated a remarkable display of diversity and inclusivity at its annual International Day Function. The event, themed “Embracing Global Unity,” brought together ambassadors, diplomats of various countries, students, parents, faculty, and esteemed guests to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures represented within the SZIA community.With the theme “Unity in Diversity,” this year’s function underscored the school’s commitment to fostering global citizenship and mutual understanding among its students, faculty, and wider community.

In a show of diplomatic solidarity, representatives from 20 embassies graced the event, further enriching the cultural exchange and fostering intercultural dialogue. Ambassadors and diplomats engaged with attendees, sharing insights into their countries’ traditions and fostering greater understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity.

Adding to the festivities, prominent UAE-based entities, including Emirates and Etihad Airways, also hosted stalls, showcasing the hospitality and innovation synonymous with the Emirates. Attendees had the chance to learn more about these leading aviation companies and their contributions to global connectivity and tourism.

As a highlight of the evening, SZIA announced a lucky draw with lucrative prizes, including return tickets to Dubai courtesy of Emirates and Etihad Airways. The anticipation was palpable as attendees eagerly awaited the announcement of the winners, with excitement reaching a crescendo as lucky recipients were awarded these coveted prizes.

The evening commenced with a captivating ‘Welcome Performance’ by Primary Years Programme (PYP) students, showcasing the harmonious integration of various international cultures within the SZIA community. This was followed by a heartfelt tribute to the devoted mothers whose unwavering support ensures the success and participation of their children in school activities.

Preschool performers charmed the audience with greetings in multiple languages, serving as a testament to SZIA’s dedication to nurturing multiculturalism from an early age. The event further honored the invaluable contributions of the school’s administrative and support staff, whose behind-the-scenes efforts are integral to the smooth functioning of SZIA’s operations.

A highlight of the evening was the mesmerizing Palestinian Dabka dance, choreographed and presented by Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) students, under the guidance of esteemed alumna Malaak Rahman.

The International Day Function also featured spectacular displays of gymnastics, karate, and the visually stunning Butterfly Flutter Dance, where the stage was illuminated by the radiant costumes of MYP and DP performers. H.E Aisha Juma Saeed Al Naqbi, Head of Visa Centre at the UAE Embassy, an esteemed Chief Guest, delivered an inspiring address, emphasizing the significance of embracing diversity and fostering a sense of unity in the global community.

Mrs. Wafaa Abdul Gaffer, Principal of SZIA, expressed her gratitude for the diverse community that defines SZIA, stating, “As we come together to celebrate International Day, we are reminded of the beauty and strength that lies in our diversity. At SZIA, we strive to create an inclusive environment where every student feels valued and empowered to embrace their unique cultural identity.”

The event concluded with a heartfelt acknowledgment of the dedication and hard work of SZIA’s teachers, particularly those newly hired, who have already made a significant impact on the school’s culture.

As the evening drew to a close, attendees were invited to join the SZIA Oval Green for the International Cultural Parade, a vibrant celebration of the world’s cultures brought to life by the school’s students.

The International Day Function 2024 at SZIA was a resounding success, reaffirming the school’s commitment to nurturing global citizens who embrace diversity, respect cultural differences, and work together to create a more inclusive world.

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