Last weekend a group of 12 students traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in the National Conference for Model Arab League (MAL). Adrian College has received the honor of attending nationals for the past three years. The group was led by their advisor and assistant professor of political science, David Takitaki.
The Model Arab League conference is a simulation of the actual Arab League, which consists of 21 member nations who meet to find solutions to problems that the Middle East faces. The model gives students a chance to research their country and represent the viewpoints of that country in a diplomatic fashion.
The National Council for United States and Arab Relations (NCUSAR) based in Washington D.C. runs the model. MAL is meant to give students practice in diplomatic relations and encourage students to research the Middle East. The program also provides participants with study abroad programs, internships, and other unique opportunities.
This year students represented the Arab Republic of Egypt, or as its commonly referred to, Egypt. Different students participated in different committees, which discussed various “hot topics” that are plaguing the region.
After talking with other delegates, students work with other nations to create solutions, or as they are called in the conference “resolutions,” which lay the ground work for action to be taken regarding a certain issue.
Head delegate and senior Wil DeYoung partook in the Heads of State committee, which included discussions on cultural preservation, protecting trade, and involving youth.
Sophomores Rachael Nicholson and Lee Schriber attended the social affairs committee where delegates debated about education, assisting those with disabilities, and providing for widowers and the elderly.
“It was a great experience that taught me more public speaking skills and how to utilize research to come up with solutions for foreign problems,” said Nicholson. “It put me in the shoes of a person from a completely different country.”
Senior Andrew Adams and junior Austin Wallace represented AC in the economic affairs committee, brainstormed ideas for a region wide telecommunication system, discovering economic practices that will gain exposure for the area, and finding ways to combat illegal trade activities.
Senior Sarah Almack and freshman Lynzi Miller were sent to the political affairs committee to represent Egypt’s ideas about defining the Arab League, addressing foreign interference, and creating diplomatic ties with African countries.
“Modern Arab League has helped me with my people skills. It has let me meet other students from all over the nation and also learn about problem solving in a diplomatic way,” said Almack.
Sophomores Emily Gesell and Akin Oluwadare were the delegates for the Palestinian affairs council, which consisted of debate regarding ways for the Arab League to aid its brother-state, and its conflicts with Israel.
The joint defense council discussed military issues and problems of social unrest. Senior Jordan Neill represented Egypt in this council.
“It was a truly unique academic experience,” said Neill.
Sophomore Meg Vandekerkhove was the representative for the Arab Court of Justice, where she represented Egypt in a case regarding the Nile River.
Among the exciting things the group experienced while in D.C. was a trip to the Egyptian Embassy. Students were granted access to visit the embassy, ask an Egyptian representative questions regarding the country, and debate various political issues with Egyptian diplomats.
The group also visited the Mall, the National Archives, and the White House.
MAL is a class, which is offered in the spring semester, however, the course also runs complementary with the club D.E.B.A.T.E. Now, students are preparing for the American Model United Nations Conference located in Chicago, IL in November.
Students interested in participating in D.E.B.A.T.E, Model UN, Model Arab League or any other simulational diplomacy programs at AC should contact Vandekerkhove at firstname.lastname@example.org or Takitaki at email@example.com.