ISLAMABAD - A weeklong cultural activities have provided the students of International Islamic University (IIUI) a break from the stress of studies, especially the hostelites from the issues that still bother them.

The university has remained in the limelight due to strike over hostel issues and later because of the three girls who made headlines after a court bailiff recovered them from the alleged confinement from the hostel rooms on the same issue.

The 26th cultural week with theme of 'Youth, Peace and Harmony' kicked off at the female campus of the IIUI on Thursday where celebration of diversity and culture was witnessed.

The students represented cultures of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Turkey, China, Jordan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Indonesia, Oman, Palestine and many other countries through various stalls. They displayed cuisine, outfits, traditional musical instruments and pictures of native heroes and poets describing their works and achievements. The students also decorated various stalls with Pakistani provincial and other regional handmade products and folklores.

At a stall of Balochistan, the students wearing traditional dresses of the area danced to the traditional Balochi beats.  

"We were here till quite late night to set up our stall but it's not tiring. It's given us a much-needed respite from the long hours of academic routine," said Maryam from Jordan who was the organizer of Jordanian stall that depicted rural lifestyle of the country.

"The activity will last for the whole week and we are excited about it," she added. Khadija from BS Usludin Department explained to the visitors regarding Muslim community in South Korea. Islam reached South Korea in 1955 and currently 200,000 Muslims constitute the community, read a banner at the stall. 

The exhibition also included food stalls. A Chinese student Ku Ming was happy that their stall was one of the most visited among various. "I cooked all the food myself and I am happy that Chinese cuisines are being liked by the visitors," she exclaimed.

The total strength of the university is 26000 and of them 12000 are female students. And around 1500 are foreign students, mostly from China and Afghanistan. 

Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, who was the chief guest, inaugurated the activities.

"Intolerance is a threat to peace and stability and we would have to increase tolerance level of youth through such activities that can guide young minds to work for maintaining culture of peace," she said.

IIUI is a true example of cultural diversity, which every year provides enormous platform for multicultural activities," she added.

Ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries including Afghanistan, Thailand, Nigeria, Oman, Iraq, and many other countries and university officials also attended the event.

Celebrations of the cultural week would continue till 25th of this month and a cultural evening is being organized for the female students today while last activity of the mega event at female campus would be prize distribution ceremony.