Students from more than 30 African countries gather in Ankara for Eid al-Adha
By Sadik Kedir Abdu
Hundreds of Africans gathered in the Turkish capital Ankara to celebrate Eid al-Adha on Wednesday.
African students and residents met at Harikalar Diyari Park to celebrate Eid in a homey atmosphere that enabled a cultural exchange involving over 30 different countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Cameroon.
“Despite the fact that we are out of our homeland, Turkish people just helped us celebrate Eid as if we’re in our country,” Halima Mewlidi, a South African student at Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara, told Anadolu Agency.
Hasan Sert, a former member of parliament organized the program allowing hundreds of students to gather and enjoy the Eid-ul Adha, (feast of Sacrifice) festival.
“We want you to be the best at everything. You have got the potential,” Sert told the students.
“We are Africans and you are Turkish, we are united,” he added.
Jumanne Simba, president of the African Development and Cooperation Association (AKID), told Anadolu Agency the program created a sense of unity during Eid.
“We thank Turkey and its people for their kindness to us. Principally we thank the Turkish Red Crescent for giving us the all-around support to organize such an astonishing program,” he said.
Nearly 17,000 foreign students are studying in Turkish universities on government scholarships while over 100,000 are studying in Turkey using non-government funds, according to the latest YTB data.