More than 20 University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) students represented UHD’s United Nations Association- Model Arab League Chapter at the Bilateral Chamber Regional Model Arab League (MAL) Conference on February 16 – 18 at the University of Houston- Clear Lake.
During the event, students participated in simulated diplomatic discourse and represented the Syrian National Coalition, Palestine, and Bahrain. Throughout the conference, MAL members addressed the issues, interests, and policies of the 22 member states in the League of Arab States. Their goal was to create and pass resolutions with the support of other student delegations from participating universities and colleges. Topics covered at this conference included devising effective infrastructures, addressing public health concerns, and developing reforms to economic policies.
“Participating in MAL is a good opportunity because you learn about the country you’re representing and understand issues from other nations that are being represented as well,” said League member and UHD student Kelvin Dangtran.
Students Thomas Canny and Namita Kadel earned the “Distinguished Delegation” award by representing Bahrain in the Council of Economic Affairs Ministers.
“I love the opportunity to represent UHD in interscholastic competition,” Canny said. “I’m proud to bring home my fourth Distinguished Delegate award for UHD.”
Next up for the University’s Model Arab League is a trip to New York this month to participate in the United Nations Association of the United States of America’s Global Engagement Summit at the United Nations headquarters. Canny and fellow UHD student Eduardo Gil will represent UHD at the summit.
UHD’s Model Arab League is open to students from all majors.
“All that is required is a willingness to learn,” said UHD student and League member Jesse Uppal. “The main thing anyone needs is confidence. With enough confidence even the most shy representatives can dominate their councils.”
The University’s Model Arab League is a subset of a larger student organization, the United Nations Association-UHD, which seeks to promote the values of the United Nations on campus and in the community.
(This article was written by Gator Correspondent Evelyn Garcia.)