The John Carroll University Model Arab League team secured an exceptional victory at the Ohio Valley Regional MAL Conference held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on Feb. 19. The student organization was honored with the highest award possible, named the 2015 “Outstanding Delegation,” for their representation of the United Arab Emirates.
Under the supervision of political science professor Mona DeBaz and the leadership of MAL president, senior Shamir Brice, and vice president, senior Alexis Mittereder, the student delegates also won several individual awards for their participation in the five different councils of the competition that included 20 other universities.
According to Brice, “Model Arab League at John Carroll University provides students the opportunity to develop invaluable leadership skills. Model Arab League is a program of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and allows students to learn firsthand what it is like to put themselves in the shoes of diplomats.”
The delegates served on five committees: political, joint defense, Arab social, Palestine and Arab environment affairs. This is reminiscent of how the real United Arab Emirates functions. The main goal throughout the process is the drafting and adopting of different resolutions, which serve to “pursue individual and Arab League interests,” Brice said.
The students on these different panels represent as many as 20 countries and sought the betterment of themselves and their fellow Arab nations.
“We discuss three different topics depending on which committee we get assigned by professor DeBaz,” said freshman member Jacob Dzierwa regarding the process. “The committees have moderators called chairs, and we use the parliamentary system for rules of procedure. We use diplomacy, and political tactics to put our county’s position forward, and we win when the committee believes that we did a great job putting forward our country’s position.”
“I love the ability to act as a diplomat from the Middle East and research the issues of the Arab World and coming up with possible solutions,” said Brice.
Dzierwa added, “[I enjoy] being embraced in international relations and learning what countries do to create positive change in the world.”
MAL will attend the National Conference in Washington, D.C. this April.