S.A.M.E. lets students share their culture and experiences


Members of the South Asian Middle Eastern Alliance club learn about each others backgrounds and experiences.

A safe space.

South Asian Middle Eastern Alliance club (S.A.M.E.) gives students of this ethnic group, the opportunity to celebrate their history and culture, address current issues, and find a voice in the school.

“The week that the Paris attacks occurred incited a lot of discussion in the school and a lot of our students were faced with many horrific, negative backlash from these events,” Dr. Anita Thawani, co-sponsor for S.A.M.E. says, ”This caused four girls to come to me, to ask if I could sponsor this club for them.”

S.A.M.E. meets on Wednesdays after school in room S209. Club members have the opportunity to share their experiences with the South Asian Middle Eastern culture with other students. There are about 15-20 active members, with four girls leading group activities and discussions.

The only way to bring light to this situation at our school is to have voices of the people who are being affected by this, which is really the essence and purpose of this club,” Dr. Thawani explains.

In recent meetings, they have talked about current events both politically and socially and how they impact their lives. During every other meeting they have a “cultural meeting” where traditional foods are brought in for students to try. They have even learned an Indian dance routine that they will perform at the next pep rally.

“We want students to know that we can hear their voice, we understand you, and we can relate to you,” says Arooshay Javed, senior. Arooshay is one of the students that founded the club.
A new idea that S.A.M.E. has created is a summit for South Asian Middle Eastern students.

On April 28, they will be hosting their first South Asian Middle Eastern summit, following suit of the black male and female summit, the Latino summit, and the LGBTQ summit.

“You don’t even have to be in the culture to be in the club, some people just come to be educated about the culture, which I think is great,” Javad says.

With all the recent turmoil involving the South Asian Middle Eastern culture, the S.A.M.E. club provides an outlet for these students to feel safe in the school where they may not feel already.