BEIRUT: The Lebanese American University announced the inauguration of the 14th GC LAU Model United Nations, 8th LAU Model Arab League and 3rd LAU Model European Union programs over the weekend.
The ceremony exemplified the depth, scope and aspirations of the programs in the presence of school advisors, student leaders and VIP guests.
Representatives from embassies of Argentina, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippine, USA and the European Union Delegation were present among the VIP attendants, which included Faisal Sinno, President of Al-Makassed Organization, President of the Lebanese American University Dr. Joseph Jabbra, Elise Salem, Vice president for Enrollment Management and Professor Elie Samia, Assistant Vice President & Director of the programs.
According to the ambassador of Nigeria, Goni Modu Zanna Bara, the event had an academic facet that can contribute not only to the teaching of the students but to the knowledge of all the attendees; including himself.
“After I joined in last year, I absolutely loved the experience and decided to go for it again,” said Hiba Chehab, a MAL student trainer. “It’s an opportunity for me to try and make a change by impacting the students’ lives by teaching them skills and concepts that no one would teach them elsewhere.”
The Outreach and Civic Engagement Unit at LAU has deeply seated belief in the educational value of the MUN, MAL, and MEU programs from the pedagogical, cognitive, and leadership point of view which allowed LAU to be entrusted by the “United Nations Association of the United States of America” with the two large Model UN International Conferences that have been taking place in New York at the United Nations Headquarters since Spring 2016.
Providing more than 2,500,000 hours of training and peacebuilding, engaging more than 2,300 student leaders to train more than 26,100 students from all over Lebanon, LAU grants more than 160 scholarships per year through its simulation models to the distinguished and excelling participants, organizers noted.
The Outreach and Civic Engagement unit conducts thorough evaluations to select the most proficient and skilled LAU students that can execute their roles. Hundreds of LAU students were chosen to serve the secretariat board for this year, all divided among five teams: Logistics & Operations, Public Information, Public Relations, School Relations and finally, Training and Education Development.
“MUN is a great opportunity to attain diplomacy and critical thinking skills; it builds a better generation through teaching delegates about their national and international duties and roles,” Jad Fawaz, a Public Information officer at the Model United Nation told Annahar.
The opening ceremony of the programs started with the Lebanese national anthem. An inauguration video was then prepared to display the secretariats’ work throughout the years and their goals for the upcoming one. Secretariats consist of LAU students who apply for any of the five teams to contribute to the three programs.
On the forum, President Joseph Jabbra was first to address the assemblage. According to him, there are no more borders in the world; globalization fueled by technology has brought down the walls of separation among the tribes of the global villages. However, the differences between these tribes had led to violence, “which is the refuge of limited minds.”
“The only answer to this violence is dialogue, and as we all know LAU has been committed to promoting that dialogue among our people, our students and people in our society,” said President Jabbra. “We play that role in what we are celebrating today, the inauguration of three major areas that we dedicate ourselves to.”
After that, Director of the programs, Professor Elie Samia took on the stage. According to Samia, at the end of the program delegates will be equipped with knowledge that permits them to say “if I were in an ambassador’s shoe.”
“MUN, MAL and MEU teach the delegates how to research a country’s socio-economic situation, its crisis, the educational system in it, along with the health system, the sustainability of the country, and the human rights regulations it includes,” said Samia. “After research, they start tackling the problems to find solutions, through a position paper.”
Following the speeches, the program’s Secretary Generals also known as student leaders of the events; Alec Hagopian, Maya Makarem, and Mohamad Ali Kalassina welcomed the Secretariat members of MUN, MAL and MEU respectively. They also introduced their respective programs, student leaders and visions for the upcoming year.
The secretariat gathered on stage and gave an oath, to work hard in the name of democracy, and to unite against differences.
According to Secretory General, Maya Makarem, besides the hard work and training, secretariats and students form friendships in the program.
“The sense of urgency my team and I have towards ensuring the program is a success, it makes us need to communicate on a regular basis, and consequently helps us grow closer to each other,” Makarem told Annahar. “As for the students, the friends one makes outside his or her typical school room at that young age, will stay with them forever.“
The Secretariat team for MUN, MAL and MEU 2018-2019.
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