'Food for All' the KAUST community

The KAUST community enjoyed the opening night activities of the 2016 Enrichment in the Fall program on October 16, which featured the theme of "Food for All." Photos by Meres Weche.

The opening night of the University’s 2016 Enrichment in the Fall program on October 16 coincided with World Food Day 2016, and was welcomed with a strong turnout from the KAUST community. The Auditorium (bldg. 20) lobby was transformed into a vibrant “Food for All” marketplace as those in attendance visited engaging displays that included fresh produce from around the world.

Both young and old also enjoyed a colorful smorgasbord of educational booths that featured culinary demonstrations, scientific demonstrations and facts and figures about global food produce and food wastage. Fresh food was very much to the fore with edible plants built into "herb walls" available for purchase.

Markets of the World

Among the booths present, there was a booth run by the student Green Group; a presentation of the "International Cooking with KAUST" cookbook project by community members Melanie Balkner-Zielke and Philippa Arkley; and a presentation and tasting session by the KAUST CookHub startup featuring female cooks from the University's neighboring town of Thuwal. A photography exhibition entitled Markets of the World showcased 35 food-related photographs by KAUST photographers. A special fish and plant tank displayed fish that highlighted the University’s research on hydroponics and was presented by Ryan Lefers, a Ph.D. candidate from the KAUST Water Desalination and Reuse Center.

Denis Boutry, a writing and communications specialist for the Enrichment team, was impressed with the response by the KAUST community to the opening night event. “We are really happy with tonight’s turnout. It’s great to see people engaging with the displays and with each other,” he said.

At 6:30 p.m., the crowd moved from the lobby area of the Auditorium to be seated for the evening’s musical entertainment provided by the baroque oriental Turkish-European group Pera Ensemble.

Enrichment in the Fall

'We are here to become enriched'

In his opening address, Mark Tester, professor of plant science and chair of the 2016 Enrichment Programs, thanked those in attendance and said he was encouraged by the KAUST community’s response to the growing need for a global understanding and reaction to the environmental impact of food production and wastage.

“We are here to become enriched, to gain wisdom and be challenged. Today is World Food Day, and this is why we are having the 'Food for All' theme for this program. We need to increase food production, but we must do this sustainably and better in the face of climate change. I think we will be able to rise to this challenge through human innovation. However, we are all going to have to do a lot, and do it all together. We have a great opportunity here at KAUST to make real contributions to this challenge," he said.

The eight-strong Pera Ensemble saw out the opening night's entertainment by delighting the crowd with a grand and memorizing display of musical skill and virtuosity. As with previous Enrichment programs, this year’s program got off to an exciting and engaging start.