Menomonie (WQOW) - UW-Stout hosted a memorial dinner to honor Hussain Alnahdi Thursday night.
Organizers said the dinner is part of the Saudi funeral tradition. Omar Alkohmos, a friend of Alnahdi, said in Saudi Arabia, once a family member has passed away, the family grieves for three days. Alkohmos said the family cannot prepare or cook for the number of people who visit, so those close to the family help prepare the meals.
"Hopefully we just gather the family feeling here," Alkohmos said. "Everyone is standing together for Hussain."
Alkohmos said 50 students spend two days cooking the traditional Saudi meal from scratch. Parents shipped spices to help keep the meal authentic. The students cooked to feed 600, but they quickly ran out of food with an estimated 800-1,000 people coming to pay respects to Alnahdi.
Alkohmos said he was happy to see the support and acceptance of Saudi culture in the United States, especially since Hussain embraced learning about American customs.
"He adopted a culture" Alkohmos said. "That's why you see all of these people here around from the community, from Stout. It's Hussain's family in the united states."
Students said they would like to give Alnahdi's family closure following his death. Alnahdi died after witnesses said he was involved in an assault on Halloween weekend in downtown Menomonie... Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call Menomonie police investigator Kelly Pollock at 715-231-8511. Anonymous information can be submitted at 855-847-3866 or at http://dunncocrimestoppers.com.. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest whoever may be responsible.