LAU Model UN program gears up for new season
December 17, 2010—
In pictures —
The LAU Model United Nations program’s expanding family celebrated the opening of the sixth annual High School AL WALID GC-LAU MUN program, and the first annual Middle School MUN, with a ceremony held at LAU Beirut’s Irwin Hall Auditorium, on December 4.
Under the motto “Youth Will Change the World,” the program will include a series of training sessions that will prepare participants for a two-day final conference to be held in spring 2011.
From left: Rindala Mikhael, secretary-general of the High School MUN, and Joelle Eid, secretary-general of the Middle School MUN, officially declare the opening of the two programs.
In her speech, Mikhael said: “To us, leadership involves honesty, integrity, confidence, passion, determination, understanding and tolerance — none of which are limited to any one age or group.”
LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra speaking at the ceremony.
Former Minister H.E. Leila Solh Hamade, vice president of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation — MUN program’s main sponsor — spoke about the history of the United Nations and its main principle of solving disputes peacefully.
Taking former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s mission to export the UN experience to colleges all over the world as an example, she stressed that the AL WALID GC-LAU MUN program is the most honest example of Hammarskjöld’s success.
Elie Samia, executive director of LAU’s Outreach and Civic Engagement unit and LAU MUN program director, talked about the soaring number of participating schools over the years, and explained the inclusion of middle schools in the program for the first time this year, due to its growing success and desire of the younger generation to participate.
Around 320 people attended the inauguration ceremony, including university officers, school representatives, students, ambassadors and representatives from the Czech, Dutch, Egyptian and Cypriot embassies.
After the opening ceremony, principals, advisers and students were split into groups, and met with LAU students who will serve as MUN trainers this year.
The trainers presented the details of the program to the groups.
“Students learn to present information in a clear and concise way, they learn to write better, and what is nice about the MUN program is that the students get to practice in a real-life manner,” said Katham Akoula, a coordinator from the American Community School in Beirut.
Constantly beaming with pride while talking about the LAU MUN students, Samia said: “They are competent, they have the skills, the knowledge, the time management, the humility, courage, resilience, resourcefulness and will to sustain such programs of excellence. We are so proud of the student body.”
The 104 MUN Secretariat members with university officers and program sponsors at the end of the inauguration ceremony.
Other stories in: Outreach and Civic Engagement Office.