A weekend of sleeping or relaxing! Not for five dynamic General Studies students from the HCT-Sharjah Men’s and Women’s campuses (SJM & SJW) who recently spent an exciting three-day weekend representing Austria at the American University of Sharjah’s Model United Nations (M.UN) conference.
In collaboration with peers from across the Emirates, they negotiated and debated current issues to find creative and innovative solutions to global problems. The experience put them well outside of their comfort zone, but inspired them to develop strong public speaking skills, a sound understanding of international relations, and strategies of diplomacy, as revealed in the following testimonials:
Abdalla Al Amri: ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)
“I have always wanted to be part of the Model United Nations since high school. Initially, I was puzzled and not sure what to say and when to say things. Over time I got used to the formalities and the manner that delegates answer thus becoming more comfortable with it. MUN requires you to think on your feet with questions, rebuttals and suggestions. I advise any student who has some interest in world affairs, diplomacy, and debating to take part in this as they will really enjoy it.”
Maitha Ajail Mohammed Balsoub Alketbi: IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
“M.UN gives me the chance to compete in an international debate. I was a bit nervous at first, but once I saw the young people and their enthusiasm this nervousness changed to happiness. I really pushed myself to get involved and share my information with other delegates on my committee. I strongly advise every student to try M.UN because it will develop their skills and their personality, and they will have a chance to be part of an international organisation.”
Arwah Al Ameri: IMF (International Monetary Fund)
“This is my second year representing Sharjah Higher Colleges at AUS MUN; my experience from last year’s conference compelled me to join this year. The overall experience I’ve had from this year’s conference was positive as I was more involved in creating resolutions; which are proposed solutions and speaking on the behalf of Austria for our topics in the IMF committee which were ‘Safer Global Financial Systems’ and ‘Strategy for Financial Surveillance’.”
Meera Hisham Saqar Humaid AlQasemi: UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation)
“The thing that inspired me to join the MUN at AUS was that I wanted to have the feel of how a real debate is managed. Learning more about the world can help develop my leadership skills and improve my teamwork, public speaking and research skills. The conference was very professional and well organized.”
Maitha Ali Abdelkarim Ali Mohammed: UNDP (UN Development Programme)
“I have always wanted to know how being in the UN feels and I thought, ‘Why not use the opportunity offered by the college to gain knowledge and experience?’ At the beginning, everything seemed confusing but through attending the sessions I started understanding and participating more.”
Maitha’s final sentence sums it all up nicely: “It was a great experience; I’d say it was a very special weekend.”
If any students are now inspired by these comments and are interested in participating in the next M.UN conference, please contact Dr Gail AlHafidh, firstname.lastname@example.org.