IRIS organizes first Peace Walk

Carolina Colon

Community members wandering through Ada Hayden Heritage Park with a mock passport in hand will be visiting various booths in order to explore different cultures.

The Iowa Resources for International Service (IRIS) will be having their first annual Peace Walk on Sept. 19 at Ada Hayden Heritage Park to celebrate the upcoming International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.

“The primary goal is to invite members of Iowa State and Ames to spend the morning with other cultures,” said Del Christensen, executive director of IRIS. “[They’ll] learn more about the IRIS programs and what we have to offer.”

There will be 12 different displays and half will include international student organizations such as the Association of Malaysian Students at Iowa State, Sankalp and the Omani Students Association. All booths will have features that make them unique such as costumes, music and games.

Other organizations participating in this event include ACCESS, the Ames Public Library and Worldly Goods.

The other goal of the Peace Walk is to raise funds for the different programs the organization has to offer, such as the YES program and the world learning participant training program. In past years, students went to Nigeria, Ukraine and Bulgaria to give different journalism workshops to young people.

Hanan Mas’Od, senior in journalism and mass communication and the public relations intern for IRIS, explained how she felt toward the organization.

“Being an international student and having the opportunity to work at IRIS, it’s a great opportunity,” Mas’Od said. “It’s a great feeling to have an extension of home, it goes hand and hand.”

The idea of the Peace Walk came up while talking with the Ames community. Christensen said his staff members organized the event.

The first five participants to donate $100 or more will be given a goodie bag and automatically signed up for the prize packages.

“The more that we can expose everyone to share these cultures and learn more about them, the better we understand each other,” Christensen said.