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Photography: Ebrahim Fouad
Report: Noor Ramadan
On Wednesday 12 October 2011 the ASC welcomed its first guest lecturer this semester; Seth Levy, an American skateboard enthusiast. Although the event revolved around sports, it attracted male and female students alike from several different UoB colleges. Mr. Brad Neimann, former instructor at the American Studies Center and currently Public Affairs officer at the U.S Embassy, was in charge of setting up the event and gave a brief introduction about Mr. Levy as well as distributed skateboard USB goodies to all the attendees.
Mr. Levy began his presentation with an intriguing self-introduction; his passion for skateboarding began when he was only three years old, and he currently not only practices the sport, but also works to give other youths the chance to develop an interest in skateboarding.
He has travelled across the world – from Europe to Asia to South America – building skateboarding parks, providing mentorship to those beginning their skateboarding journey, and securing access to the necessary playing equipment, especially in those countries where skateboarding is not such a popular sport. His most recent projects in the Arab world include Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and he also hopes to visit Kuwait once his work is completed in Bahrain.
Mr. Levy then showed excerpts from the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys that outlined a brief history of skateboarding in America, concentrating on the teenage Zephyr skateboard team. This was followed by a question and answer session as students were eager to know more about skateboarding as a sport (students were quite surprised to discover that skateboarding has been statistically proven to be a safer sport than football!) and the presentation ended with The Bones Video which showed contemporary skateboarding footage.
Throughout his presentation Mr. Levy maintained that skateboarding is “not exclusively an American sport; while it was founded there, there’s talent all over the place.” He encouraged all those interested to take part in the skateboarding workshops that will be held near Seef Mall and at the BIC over the weekend, and which he will also attend.