Mananhil Erkin wore an elegant, hand-stitched traditional two-piece outfit characterstic of many worn in Pakistan and displayed pictures of her family, explaining that they ruled five provinces in Pakistan became it became a country.
One of the photos showed Ms. Erkin's family sitting outside one of their palaces.
The display was just one of numerous exhibits that filled the University Center at The University of Texas at Tyler's first International Fest on Thursday.
During the festival, Ms. Erkin, a pre-nursing major and art minor, served saciya, a popular Pakistani dessert made from dried wheat, milk, custard and sugar.
Ms. Erkin moved to Tyler with her family when she was 7 years old when her father wanted to get a fresh start, but she still considers Pakistan home.
"Pakistan Independence Day is Aug. 14, 1947, when it got its independence from India," Ms. Erkin shared. "Before Pakistan was created, however, it was broken up into these different provinces. My great great great great grandfather was the king of all these provinces."
At one boothl, Laura Yav talked about the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A freshman majoring in business administration, she came to UT Tyler last December to study and then plans to go back to her country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"I'm still learning English," she said, saying her native language is French.
Her country's motto is "unity work and progress," she said.
Khaled El Masry, an electrical engineering major from Egypt, displayed a map showing Egypt in North Africa and displayed pictures depicting the lifestyle, culture and food in Egypt. His exhibit also featured papyrus, a kind of paper created in Egypt 4,000 years ago.
Many of the student presenters were international students, but others included students who have traveled abroad, such as Josh Bradley, a senior, who shared a booth about Israel - the destination of a trip taken by about 10 UT Tyler political science department students every year. Bradley showed pictures from the trip, including a temple, the Garden of Gethsemane, Tel-Aviv and a blooming desert.
Rebecca Jackson, director of the Model United Nations at UT Tyler, promoted international travel and international studies through the university.
Similarly, Dr. Manoucher R. Khosrowshahi, a Tyler Junior College professor, promoted the 27th annual biblical and archeological tour of Turkey in March, which will be a joint venture with UT Tyler. More than 1,500 people have taken the tour, he said. It is open to students, faculty and community members nationwide.
The UT Tyler Department of Art and Art History will launch its first trip to Greece next summer for both students and community members to visit museums and archaeology sites, Dr. Elizabeth Lisot, an assistant professor, said at an exhibit about Greece.
The exhibit displayed items she has obtained on past trips to Greece, including a replica of an Achilles and Ajax vase, which is a famous vase in the Vatican museum; a replica of an ancient vase used to store wine on ships, and a replica of a Trojan horse.
Other countries featured at the festival included Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belize, Mexico, Nigeria, Congo, Greece, South Korea, the Peoples Republic of China, Bolivia, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries. The festival also featured live entertainment and food from different countries.