GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY IN QATAR (Aug. 31, 2022) Lit up with fairy lights hung across its walls and a stage placed conveniently at the center, the atrium at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) was hard to overlook. Open Mic Night, a yearly tradition that last graced the GU-Q campus prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, had finally returned.
This Georgetown tradition has served as an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to showcase their talents and skills as well as celebrate their cultures in a fun and open setting. With around 20 acts, this year’s celebration of Open Mic Night witnessed a great deal of diversity with performances including singing, poetry and instrument recitals, dancing, and more from both students and professors. These performances were not limited to those officially from Georgetown but included students hailing from other Education City universities, such as Texas A&M.
The night was opened with a lively rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” that animated the audience and set the standard for following acts quite high. Yet despite this standard, the performance that came next did not fall short of being unforgettable. Having introduced themselves as “The Spice Boys”, this act included a number of faculty and staff that had gathered to perform a remarkable cover of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. This particular act, while undeniably unique in its own ways, had not been the first of its kind as previous celebrations of Open Mic Night saw the presence of another Backstreet Boys tribute, the Class of 2014’s The Halal Boys. The following acts included a flawless violin recital and a series of songs, some even having been originals, performed by students and professors. Between the acts, attendees were given the opportunity to grab a bite and socialize with one another outside the usual classroom setting.
For some students, this year’s celebration of Open Mic Night would prove to be a one-time experience. Zain Assaf, a student from GU-Q’s Class of 2023 remarked, “As a senior, this Open Mic Night is both my first and last. I’ve been looking forward to it since my freshman year,”.
As the night carried on, performers brought to the stage various acts of poetry, dance, and more singing. The diversity of the GU-Q was manifested through the number of languages different songs were delivered in besides English, such as Spanish and Turkish. The stage was open to anyone who felt it in themselves to showcase their talents and skills or simply partake in the vibrant spirit of the crowd.
Benjamin Kurian, a senior at GU-Q serving as the current Student Government Association President added, “The turnout exceeded my expectations and it’s a hopeful sign that we’re returning to campus life as it was before the pandemic,”.
The night came to an end after a number of impromptu acts and group dances that left everyone fairing in good spirits and anticipating the next Open Mic Night.