Model Arab League

History and Description from the web site of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Since 1983, when a few schools gathered at Georgetown University to participate in what they assumed would be a one-time simulation, the Model Arab League has grown to include 2,500 students and 200 schools annually.

The Model Arab League (MAL) offers high school, college, and university students a superior opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills. In the process, participants learn about the social, economic, cultural, and political issues facing the leaders of the Arab world. As representatives of member states, student delegates attempt to solve problems and achieve consensus on questions diplomats wrestle with daily. The dynamics and interactive nature of the role-playing involved stimulates creativity, deepens learning, and cultivates understanding as no book, video, or coursework ever could.

The simulation begins with a Plenary Session, where delegates adopt a provisional agenda for the League's five committees. The delegates elect committee officers to oversee debate and ensure that deliberations occur in accordance with the Model Arab League's rules of procedure. In committee, delegates draft, debate, and vote on resolutions reflecting their country's positions on issues of regional and global concern. Those that survive the Committee process are sent to the Summit Session, the climactic meeting of all the delegates.

Participation in a Model is of value to all students regardless of their academic major. Participants gain valuable leadership training through the Model's constant challenges in debating, writing, editing, public speaking, critical thinking, and interpersonal relations skills. All delegates come away having practiced the kinds of skills that will serve them well in any field they pursue. This practical experience brings students back year after year.

The MAL is the National Council on U.S. Arab Relation's gateway to other university and high school leadership development programs, including Summer in Syria, Passage to Morocco, the Kuwait Studies program, and internships in Washington, D.C. and the Arab world.

For more than a decade, the Model Arab League program (MAL) of the National Council on US-Arab Relations has offered high school, college, and university students a unique opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills. In the process, the participants learn about the social, economic, environmental, cultural, and political issues facing the leaders of the Arab world. As representatives of member states, student delegates attempt to solve problems and achieve consensus on questions real-life diplomats consider daily. The dynamics and interactive nature of the role-playing involved stimulates creativity, deepens learning, and cultivates understanding as no book, video, coursework or series of lectures ever could.

Participants in the Models subsequently have an opportunity to apply for international educational scholarships for study in Kuwait, Syria, Morocco, other Arab countries, and on an ad hoc basis, in Washington, DC. For this reason, the Models are frequently referred to as the National Council's "gateway" program.

The Model Arab League leadership development program is of value to all students regardless of their academic major. Participants gain valuable leadership training through the Model's constant challenges in debating, writing, editing, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. All delegates come away having practiced the kinds of skills that will serve them well in any field they pursue. This practical experience brings students back year after year.

Bellarmine University’s Participation

Bellarmine University has been sending award-winning delegations to the Model League of Arab States program for nearly a decade. We participate in the Ohio MAL which is hosted by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Other participating universities include St. Louis University, Miami University, Ohio State University, Indiana University Southeast, Shawnee State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, University of Cincinnati, and John Carroll University. Nearly sixty Bellarmine students have participated over the years. As of 2003 Bellarmine delegates have garnered thirty Outstanding Delegate awards, five Outstanding Delegation awards, and three Honorable Mentions. Our students have been elected to serve as committee chairs eleven times.

Get Involved

If you would like to participate, or would like to find out more about the Model Arab League, contact Tim Welliver at 502.272.8068 or twelliver@bellarmine.edu.

More information about the Model Arab League program is available at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

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