New organization on mission to change perceptions

The Afghan Student Association is one of the newest organizations on campus, as it has only been holding official meetings for the past month.

Currently, there are about 14 members, but membership is expanding rapidly as ASA informs the public about Afghan culture. ASA is open to students of all ethnicities and cultures.

“We open our doors up to people of all different walks of life,” said ASA president and political science junior Hakim Jan. “The ASA promotes awareness, tolerance and peace in issues related to Afghanistan. We believe direct education and cross-cultural understanding is more effective than what the media teaches about cultures.”

Born and raised in Afghanistan, Jan formed the organization in an effort to reach out to the UH community and exchange cultural knowledge. Jan said the depiction of Afghanistan as a conflict zone often misrepresents Afghani people.

“We try to eliminate misconceptions about the Afghan culture, people and its history,” Jan said.

The association is having its first event, a bake sale, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 21 on the first floor of the University Center.

Mathematics senior and ASA member Gregory Malek hopes the bake sale will give the organization some much-needed exposure.

“We are going to do the best we can to make ASA one of the more well-known organizations on campus,” Malek said.

“ASA members are actively working to recruit new members and get the organization’s name out to the public.”

ASA treasurer and graduate student Carlos Falcon, who has a Master of Science in accounting, said that ASA is a social organization where members learn from each other.

“Every time we meet, we have a lot of fun,” Falcon said. “I enjoy every one of our meetings.”

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