IUS turns up heat at Model Arab

IUS Horizon

A delegation of 10 students from IU Southeast represented Egypt at the regional Model Arab League Conference at Miami University of Ohio on Feb. 16 through 18.

The Model Arab League Conference is a political simulation of the actual Arab League, and IUS students took home three awards for outstanding representation in their individual councils.

The Model Arab League Conference is a political simulation of the actual Arab League.

Cliff Staten, professor of political science and international studies and Model Arab League adviser, said this requires a lot of initial background research on the Arab League.

“[The students] have to research the history of their country, the politics of their country and the foreign policy and how they interact with other countries,” Staten said.

Students must be prepared to discuss and write resolutions on a broad range of topics relating to the Arab world. The topics depended on which of the five councils to which they are assigned, including Joint Defense, Political Affairs, Palestinian Affairs, Social Affairs and Environmental Affairs.

“In the Joint Defense Council, where I participated as a delegate from Egypt, we covered things such as the problem in Syria, and how the Arab League should respond to that,” Michele Hop, journalism senior, said.

The delegates to the Political Affairs Committee were tasked with finding solutions to significantly different problems.

“Our main topics of discussion were the effects of foreign capital through NGOs and social organizations in particular,” Dejan Tomanic, political science and international studies junior and delegate to the Political Affairs Committee, said.

Stephon Moore, political science and journalism freshman, also represented IU Southeast in the Political Affairs Committee.

“The main topics that we really talked about had to do with terrorism, humanitarian rights, the needs of certain countries that we deal with, such as Palestine and Saudi Arabia, as well as Western interference,” Moore said.

Staten said he was pleased by how well the IUS delegation performed at the Model Arab League Conference.

“It’s very difficult to be recognized at these things,” Staten said. “The competition is very difficult, and the students are well-prepared. They’re the best at IUS.”

The participating students said they were also pleased with their performance and the opportunities the conference granted them.
“I think I developed a lot of conversational skills,” Moore said. “I learned how to work well with other people. I also learned how to compromise and come together to try to make something that is really better and really helps people.”

In addition to learning new skills, the delegates said they found the experience personally rewarding.

“The most rewarding part of this trip was being able to work with other students from universities and meet people,” Hop said.

Tomanic said he considered the cultural aspect of the conference to be most interesting.

“On a more personal level, the most rewarding experience was actually learning how to create a Moroccan headdress,” Tomanic said.

Moore said he believed networking with other like-minded individuals was the most memorable aspect of the Model Arab League Conference.

“Overall, it was probably one of the better weekends I’ve had being a freshman here at IUS,” Moore said, “and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to meet new people, that wants to learn about issues that don’t necessarily affect them directly and anyone who just wants to have a lot of fun and network with a lot of different people that you will probably never meet anywhere else.”