LAU establishes Lebanon’s first Model Arab League
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January 25, 2012—
LAU reached another milestone in its mission to develop youth leadership potential as it kicked off Lebanon’s first Model Arab League (MAL) program in partnership with the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.
Sidon MP and Hariri Foundation President Bahia Hariri and LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra signed the program into life in December. This was followed by the first of several training sessions for the new MAL delegates on January 7.
The three-year memorandum of understanding between LAU and the Hariri Foundation provides for MAL training for over 400 students at Sidon’s Rafic Hariri High School during the first year and spreading to nearly 100 middle and high schools in the Sidon School Network during the second year, with the goal of carrying the program to other Arab countries in the third year.
“We meet here to make sure that our youth will bring glory to Lebanon, the region and the whole world,” Hariri said at the inaugural event.
Jabbra told the audience that the program’s mission is to develop young people’s leadership and diplomatic skills. The youth, he said, are “today’s leaders, not tomorrow’s.”
MAL “teaches its students to learn, to influence, and to lead a legacy,” said Elie Samia, the executive director of Outreach and Civic Engagement at LAU and MAL program director.
A team of 32 LAU students will train teenagers from Rafic Hariri High School in Sidon on practical leadership skills directly related to the social, economic, cultural and political issues facing the Arab world. After seven training sessions, students will participate in a two-day conference simulating the various sessions and committees of the Arab League.
The first training session covered the history of the Arab states and the establishment of the Arab League. The delegates were asked to write down their thoughts about human and civil rights, cultural issues, poverty, peace and security, and women empowerment in the Arab world, which were then collected to form the draft of the “MAL Arab Youth Appeal.”
According to Samia, students gain invaluable leadership experience and other important skills - such as time management, the use of parliamentary procedure, and the dynamics of debating, writing, and editing - through the hands-on training.
“With the passion and enthusiasm of our students, we aim to spread MAL culture and education throughout Lebanon and the Arab world,” Samia said.
At the inaugural ceremony, he thanked Joseph Kanaan, OCE project coordinator, and Cynthia Nassif, MAL program coordinator, who were instrumental in planning the MAL program inauguration.
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