By Ahmed Al Mansoori (G11)
Last Saturday, the school held a major event that we were all looking forward to: International Day. This is the time in which the entire school community comes together not only to celebrate our cultural diversity, but also to take pride in being global citizens of the world.
Having been an international student in Raha International School for many years, I always enjoyed the learning experience this event had to offer, as it exposed me to the wide array of nationalities within our community - most of which I don’t normally notice! When I look back at my first year at Raha, I was both excited and daunted by this new environment that I had difficulty adapting to. However, daily interactions with other international students have helped me open my mind to the wondrous world we live in.
One of my favorite things about International Day is how it stimulates many conversations about our origins, and different lifestyles. In one way or another, the observation of this event has helped us develop an appreciation for other cultures, as well as how to embrace each other’s traditional values.
What makes this year’s International Day even more significant is the increasing number of nationalities within our school. The active engagement of parents and staff in the Global Village was of great educational value, as we were able to explore the food, clothing, languages, and even the social values of each country.
Above all, regardless of our cultural differences, this event has managed to gather people from all round the globe for one purpose: to celebrate being part of a diverse, multicultural community.
By Cassandra Kisoro (G12)
On the 8th of February 2014, the students, teachers and parents of the Raha International School community found themselves immersed in a very traditional, yet culturally eventful environment. Raha’s long anticipated International Day had finally arrived. This long-standing tradition at RIS allows individuals from over 70 different nationalities to express and share their cultural diversity through their vibrant national dress, dances, cuisine and décor.
As soon as you walked onto the football pitch, you could immediately feel the excitement and pride of the kids and parents who were representing their respective countries. You could tell how proud the students were to be wearing their colorful national dress, especially the little kids who were showing off certain details of their outfits to one another and even just the big smiles on the faces of parents who had their cameras ready to snap pictures of the event and their children. Before the activities, we were entertained with several dances, songs and speeches given to us by members of our diverse community. Before we knew it, there was a very flamboyant parade of nations, where children walked around the pitch representing their countries with a banner of their country’s name and flag portrayed, as we were conveniently given a few educational facts regarding each particular nation.
Finally as we walked off the pitch, the most promising and anticipated hour of International Day had appeared before our eyes and noses. The exploration of the various stalls and the delicious food tasting had commenced. Personally, I am a huge food lover! I highly enjoyed the atmosphere the Global Village offered, and I tried the various dishes from every country. My personal favourites included the Italian bruschetta, the Korean barbecue beef and the South African hot dogs. In fact, this was my first year attending Raha’s International Day and I thoroughly appreciated the exuberance of the event, and I will greatly miss it as I leave Raha next year.
by Michelle Tan (G12)
On Saturday, the 8th of February 2014, students and adults alike, of all cultures and languages gathered together, showcasing over 70 different nationalities at Raha International School, to celebrate the much-awaited International Day. Jam-packed with a variety of different events ranged from the Parade of Nations to the traditional dances, Raha found itself emerged in a diverse and culturally educational environment.
With the arrival of students, the big pitch was soon abuzz with excitement, in anticipation for the assembly to begin, as little kids hurriedly found their places, excited parents busily snapped photos and the flag bearers eagerly held up their signs. The assembly began with a speech from the newly appointed CEO of Taaleem, Rosamund Marshall, followed by a constant stream of acts, which included, “Wonderful singing and shows, such as the Egyptian and Korean dances.” as stated by Scottish teacher, Miss Kirsten Baillie. The Egyptian dance ended in a whirlwind of color, due to the dancers’ vibrant costume, leading onto the main event, The Parade of Nations, where, “We were able to learn facts from different countries and see for ourselves how diverse Raha is.” Lorenzo Mapeso, Gr 10, Filipino. This was coupled with the expressive and colorful costumes that the flag bearing kids wore with pride. “The assembly was special to me, because I was the one holding the Malaysian sign.” Adrina Bang, Gr 3, Malaysian.
Soon, the children were free to explore the many different stalls and activities that the Global Village had to offer. Roaming around in search of traditional activities and cultural cuisines, everyone was able to, “take pride in their culture and learn about each other’s traditions.” Tala Barham, Gr 11, Jordanian and Palestinian. Not only were the children in awe of this event, but so were the teachers, who believe that, “the students enter the spirit of the day and the outcome shows the amount of effort the parents have put in.” Mr. Ben Rehana, English. “I also love the free stuff.” This is courtesy to the multiple stalls that represent their countries, with delicious foods and riveting activities to help others understand why they take pride in their country.
Overall, the day was, “fun because of the variety of food offered” Mrs. Muge Okur, Turkish. “This presented an excellent opportunity for families to experience the cultural diversity of Raha.” Mrs. Daniela Parkinson, New Zealander and Australian, with the entire Raha community contributing towards the event, whether it was helping out at a stall, participating in the parade or simply turning up to support their country and join in the festivities, this International Day has us anxious for the next one.
By Athena Thomas (G10)
On the 18th of November, Grade 10 students embarked on an adventure camp aimed at pushing them to their limits. Beginning in Dubai and finishing off in Dibba, Oman; the four day leadership camp also hoped to improve the team building skills of the students and to make them better team players.
This year’s camp began with a desert Bedouin experience in Dubai. There, the students were treated to a host of activities including dune-bashing, Arabic dancing, traditional Bedouin meals as well as hands-on experiences and lessons in Emirati wildlife, Bedouin culture and astronomy. Not only were they able to engage in the new experiences and learn on their own, they were also able to better understand the culture that they live in in Abu Dhabi. As Mr. Simon, the Grade 10 Dean and coordinator of the camp said, “It was nice to be able to get in touch with the roots of the culture we live in”.
Yet all of that excitement was just the beginning. On the second day of the camp, the students made their way to Dibba. There, the pupils went abseiling, kayaking, and mountain biking in the daytime and took part in challenges at night. Since the activities were completely new for most people, they had a blast trying out new things and testing their limits. The challenges at night were where the students were encouraged to take on leadership roles and to play their part as members of an effective team. This was done through group reflections after every activity for the whole team. The students also took part in a survival activity, which saw them distill and filter their own water, start a fire and cook a fish on their own. Needless to say, that meal was a very tasty one!
Apart from the activities, other factors like the groupings also influenced the students’ experiences at the camp. Speaking on the three groups he had organized everyone in before camp, Mr. Simon said that he was aiming for “a good mix of friendship and new people”. This was done to give the pupils the opportunity to interact with new students and make new friends, yet to also give them a feeling of security with their old friends.
The teachers who brought the students on the camp were also very eager to be there. When asked about why she wanted to come on the trip, Ms Alexander Trotter replied that she ‘wanted to be able to see the grade 10s and interact with them again’. Other teachers went because of experience; an example is Mr. Paul Ede, who says he “has wasta too much”, referring to the ‘connections’ he has accumulated from all previous years at the camp. Despite these differences, all the teachers greatly enjoyed themselves and are “looking forward to many more” camps like this one.
All in all, this camp was a fun and educational break from school; it was also a learning opportunity that represented a milestone in the personal development of all the students who went. They are by no means the first to have enjoyed what Absolute Adventure in Dibba has to offer, as they are part of a Raha tradition that most grade 11s and 12s can identify with, and that grade 9s can look forward to. The wonderful atmosphere at the camp, maintained by the friendly instructors, made the students all feel very welcome. Combining this with the adrenaline rush of trying out a different exciting sport everyday really made this experience a fantastic one to remember!
Video by Lisa Zimmermann (G10)
by Alex Levesque (G7)
On the 25th of November, 2013, the RIS community celebrated the UAE’s 42nd anniversary. UAE colors surrounded the school grounds, portraying the spirit of the celebration. Popcorn, cotton candy, traditional UAE food, camel and pony riding, henna, a magician, traditional arts and crafts, Arabic dancers, a marching band and many more attractions were those which made visiting the national day village a great experience!
To begin the day, the team at RIS held an Assembly, which was both cultural and educational for everyone present, showing us UAE’s culture and their strong sense of unity as a nation. As highlights of the assembly, there were 2 main speakers: an Islamic guest preacher as well as the head of the senior school at RIS, Ms. Marian Rossiter. Furthermore, the local students delighted us with a fashion show (girls) and a yola demonstration by the boys.
As a student attending Raha International School, this was an important experience and an honor to participate in, since it was showing the UAE locals our thanks for their hospitality as our host country, but furthermore, our gladness for the 42nd anniversary of their country. It was a memorable experience! Happy Birthday UAE!
by Tala Barham (G11)
On the 25th of November the National day celebration was held at Raha International School to honor 24 years of the UAE’s success.
The day started off with a morning assembly at the senior pitch, which began with a marching band from Abu Dhabi Police that played the national anthem for the audience at the assembly. This was followed by a recital of a verse from the holy Quran. Ms. Marian Rossiter, head of secondary school, gave a short speech to give a warm welcome to everyone. The assembly concluded with the UAE national clothing being showcased, and the Yola (the Emirati national dance) was performed.
Parents, teachers, and students spent the day going to different stands for food, henna, and camel rides. Most people seemed to enjoy the traditional Arabic dumplings which are also known as lugaimat. Students and teachers had much to say about this very special day;
Michel King, Raha teacher and parent mentioned: “I think this is a fabulous opportunity for our school to come together as a community in this unique part of the world, and it is a great way for the students to share new ways of culture and heritage.”
As the day carried on people began to discuss and ask questions to local students at the school about national day and its importance. Ahmed Al Mansoori, grade 11 diploma student at Raha International School answered “National day is a very important event because it marks one of the most revolutionary events in Emirati history because this is an event that changed our country and it is what made it become so successful and began a new era of development.”
The day turned out to be a great success thanks to Ms. Wafaa Marwan, PYP/MYP teacher and the organiser of national day. She put lots of time effort into the organisation of the event and said to Raha Voice that it is respectful to celebrate national day to show appreciation towards the country that we live in and it is a fun way of educating our students about the very special day.
“RIS is a school in Abu Dhabi, which has locals and everyone likes the celebration of national day. As an international school, we do this celebration for our students, so that they can learn about this national day and Emirati culture.”
The National day celebration was a very successful, entertaining, and educational event about the culture of the United Arab Emirates.
Congratulations to the Senior Girls Netball Team who won on Tuesday November 12 at Zayed Sports City against BISAK, with a final score of 6-2.
Pictures by Michael Burns (G12)
The U12 Girls Netball team played Brighton College last Tuesday, having a final score of 8-1 to Brighton. Keep up the great team spirit!
By Sushilkumar Jadhav (G10)
On Monday the 11th of November 2013, the U11 Raha Raptors played a football match against the Gems students at Gems American Academy. The match started at 3:30 PM and continued until 5 PM and was played in two halves; games one and two. Game one was played by Raha’s C team versus Gems B team, and game two by Raha’s B team versus Gems C team.
It was an enthusiastic play from the Raha players, not only because they were attentive, and kept a keen watch on the tactics of other teams that played on the ground, but also because they collaborated well with one another. It was evident that they studied the weaknesses of players such as the goal keeper, as one player arrived to the conclusion saying “I think the goal keeper is not good at his kicks so we must try keeping the ball low during shots.” They had frequent and properly angled passes to one another, to restrict the opponents of taking possession of the ball and one of their trump cards was their ability to dodge the ball between their legs as an opponent attacked. They also occasionally used their body to block players behind them, as they received a passed ball and their teamwork is also to be gratified, due to their frequent shouts like “Hey,” “Here.”
The game did have some blemishes, for example, the Raptors captain agreed that their team needs to train the players to use more ground space so that they can dodge the ball freely and avoid having the opponents to block them, i.e. “Having players at ends,” as described by one player, when asked. However, at this young age, this can be set aside, but surely something to work on in the future, as they refine their skills further. The Raptors also said they had done a bag load of practice, and this is evident through their pyrotechnic display.
For all that the teams thumped around for, the goals scored were not many, and the first game resulted in a draw, with a score of 0-0. In the second game, the dazzling play of the Raptors in team B left Gems dejected, as a player Rashid from Raha, shot a clean goal, resulting in a score of 1-0 in favour of the Raptors, about 12 minutes into the game. This ended in a joyful win for the Raptors, and adding to this wonderful atmosphere, the numerous glittering faces of parents who came to pick up their children towards the end of the match. Overall, they deserve a complimentary high-five. Well done Raptors!
The french department at RIS is organising a trip to Nice, France during the Summer Break (August 25-30, 2014). There are still some spaces left... Current grade 9, 10 and 11 students are invited, and encouraged to join!
Time to put that French into practice!
For further information, please contact Ms. Soraya Kerioui directly at email@example.com
Still not convinced?
Below are 2 reviews of the trip by a Grade 12 student who went to the trip last summer...