March 26, 2013
Seven students at Shawnee State University attended the Model Arab League (MAL) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in February.
The League is similar to the Model UN, and students represented one of the Arab League’s 22-member states.
The MAL began in 1983, when student delegates representing 20 schools gathered at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to participate in what they thought would be a one-time simulation.
Over the next 27 years, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Model Arab League has grown to the point where 14 Models are held annually throughout grassroots America. These November-through-April events would include more than 2,000 students, 200 universities and secondary schools, hundreds of faculty advisers, and will be held in 11 cities. Since that first year more than 35,000 students have participated in the Model Arab League Program.
Student delegates work to achieve consensus on questions and they write, debate, and pass resolutions that seek to resolve some of the Arab countries’ most difficult challenges. The dynamics and interactive nature of the role-playing among the students stimulate critical thinking, heighten creativity, expand knowledge, and cultivate understanding.
Four SSU delegates received an Honorable Mention-Delegate award for their representation of Lebanon.
“This has been our most successful trip ever to a MAL conference,” said Mandie Maxwell, president of the International Forum at SSU.
Maxwell has been participating in MAL for several years and received the Saudi Arabia Winter fellowship that included an expense-paid study visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year. It will continue for one year when she will provide outreach to share her experience in the Saudi culture.