Middle Eastern North African Heritage Month 2023: Through the eyes of MENA

Middle Eastern North African (MENA) Heritage Month

Through the Eyes of MENA

This March marks UW–Madison’s celebratory return of Middle Eastern North African (MENA) Heritage Month. Sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center and made possible by students whose passion for their heritage goes beyond borders and stereotypes, MENA Heritage Month recognizes a vibrant community, their stories, and their cultural contributions to the UW–Madison campus and beyond.

This month’s theme, Through the Eyes of MENA, is built on the pillars of safe space, reflective conversation, and a nostalgic sense of home. With different lenses into MENA cultures—dance, food, music, art, comedy, poetry, conversation, and more—this month provides a glimpse into our identities, through our eyes, away from the misconceptions that trail behind us.

This month will spread awareness, provide representation, and create spaces for MENA students—marking an inaugural celebration of this identity group. We hope that every event serves as recognition of MENA heritage, honoring the complexities and the unique beauties of our identities.

Special thanks to the 2023 MENA Heritage Month Collective and the Multicultural Student Center for leading the month’s celebration.

2023 Events

Get To Know The Creator: Dana Tabaza

Headshot: Dana Tabaza

Dana Tabaza is a junior majoring in industrial engineering and data science with certificates in business, computer science, and international engineering.

Born and raised in Irbid, Jordan, Dana is a recent immigrant to the United States and takes great pride in her Palestinian-Jordanian heritage. As the driving force behind the university’s return of MENA Heritage Month, she has become the Multicultural Student Center’s first-ever MENA Cultural Programming Intern, breaking new ground for MENA representation on campus.

Her passion for advocating for space and inclusion extends to her work in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Task Force (IDEA); Amnesty UW; and the Muslim Students Association. In her free time, Dana enjoys learning new languages, film photography, traveling, and hanging out with friends at the MSC.

MENA Heritage Month Planning Collective

Dana Tabaza, Co-chair
Haruka Padilla, Co-chair
Claudia Guzmán, Advisor 

Collective Members
AbdulRahman AlRoumi
Adrian Cyrus
Amena Elbatt
Azza Bayoudh
Dannah Altiti
DeOnna Garrison
Dima Hamdan
Ece Kilic
Ghaida Edreis
Israa Elshakra
Khizar Malik
Lena Mahmoud
Lojain Adly
Maha Mustafa
Mariam Lubbad
Maryam Aljaroudi
Melisa Erman
Nusaybah Mallick
Rafey Choudhry
Rahima Osman
Reem Salah
Rojaan Koupaei-Abyazani
Sanaa Semia
Sarah Almutawa
Shafiq Kassees
Storay Wardak
Talal AlKurdi
Yusra Houidi 

Collective Organizations
African Student Association
Alpha Lambda Mu
Alpha Lambda Rho
Arab Students Association
Middle Eastern Law Students Association
North African Student Organization
Persian Student Society
Saudi Student Association
Students for Justice in Palestine
Turkish Students Association

Center for Religion and Global Citizenry
Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Engineering Student Center
Muslim Student Association
WSB Multicultural Center

Event poster: A Night at the Bazaar, March 1, 6-9 p.m.

A Night at the Bazaar
March 1, 6:00 p.m., Multicultural Student Center & Pyle Center

PDF Poster | RSVP

Event flyer: Dancing with Dabke Stars, March 8th, 7:30pm, RSVP required

Dancing with the Dabke Stars
March 8, 7:30 p.m., Multicultural Student Center Lounge

PDF Poster | RSVP

Event poster: MENA keynote Comedy Night, March 20, 7-8 p.m.

Comedy Night ft. Zaid Youzi
March 20, 7:00 p.m., Multicultural Student Center Lounge

PDF Poster | RSVP

Event poster: Interfaith Iftar, March 30, 6:45 p.m.

Interfaith Iftar
March 30, 6:45 p.m., , Multicultural Student Center Lounge

PDF Poster | RSVP

Special thanks to the Middle Eastern North African Heritage Month Planning Committee


Email Dana or visit the MSC website