ISA organizes first Decatur food fest


Maura Burke

International Student Association members enjoying the fruits of their labor with friends and fellow members. “I really enjoyed the food there,” junior Jeanelle Seals said. “It was a really good event.”

Decatur’s International Student Association had their first International food fest on Thursday May 10th. With this event, countries like India, Somalia, France and Iraq all came together in the same place.

The goal of ISA was to bring together the food of many cultures to the student body. The club attempted to give Decatur a taste of these cultures in a fun, inexpensive way.

Members of the club made the food at home and brought it to school ready to be eaten. This year, ISA wanted the food to be free because their goal was to raise awareness in the school, not revenue.

Students brought in different foods from French crepes to Senegalese dessert balls. In addition to showing their food to people at the school, ISA students tasted the food of their fellow club members. This event helped bring the ISA students together. “We bonded through making the posters together and just preparing for the event,” club member Ioanna Gotchall said.

The ISA club originally began in the 2009-2010 school year. The club first met up in social studies teacher, Beau Dominguez’s learning connection. “ We weren’t really an established club that year,” vice president Manal Sidi said. “We were just a ‘hang out’ kind of club.”

The ISA brought in foods from all around the world. Foods from France, Ethiopia, Senegal, Iraq and many more countries were represented at ISA’s International food fest.

That changed this year with the emergence of a bigger international population. “There was a more diverse group this year,” Sidi said. “ Everyone wasn’t just from Africa or the Middle East anymore.” This year the club has seen new members from countries like Brazil, France, and the Polynesian Islands.These diverse cultures came together to organize the food fest held at Decatur.

But the club does not want to stop at just food fests. Next year they plan to have an International Show to display the different music, dances and fashion styles of their countries. “Hopefully we will continue to have support in Decatur for the show next year,” ISA member Senayt Tesema said.

To prepare for the upcoming International Show next year, the club went to Druid Hills’ International show this year. The purpose of the field trip was to show the ISA members what things to do for their future show. “Druid Hills was really fun. Seeing different friends perform their countries’ music inspired a lot of us,” ISA member Fatma Alnedawi said. “ “While we were there we saw a few things that we will definitely do at Decatur’s future International Show. I really can’t wait.”