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LAU students represent Lebanon at Global Model UN conference

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LAU student Khaled Kabbara served as the under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management at the second annual Global MUN Conference, in Malaysia. Read more.

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Kabbara with the six other LAU students who were chosen to role-play as foreign diplomats and simulate UN sessions. From left: Maya Ayoub, Erick Knaider, Reham Darwish, Khaled Kabbara, Shiraz Al Adam, Fadi Rajeh, and Monica Seif.

September 7, 2010—

“Professionalism plus hard work equals success,” says Khaled Kabbara, a 23-year-old LAU graduate student. It’s an adage he can attest to after having been selected among hundreds of applicants from around the world to serve in one of just five secretariat officials in the second annual Global Model United Nations Conference 2010, which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from August 14-18.

The Kuwaiti-born student, who is pursuing his master’s in international affairs, was GMUN’s under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management.

Over 1,000 university students from countries where MUN programs are organized, including six from LAU, aside from Kabbara, were chosen to role-play as foreign diplomats and simulate sessions of the UN General Assembly, under the theme “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development.”

The LAU students who participated in the conference — Shiraz Al Adam, Maya Ayoub, Reham Darwish, Khaled Kabbara, Erick Knaider, Fadi Rajeh, and Monica Seif — represented the only delegation from Lebanon.

First held in Switzerland last year, the GMUN conference is organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information and is touted for its striking semblance to the real UN General Assembly. Unlike other MUN conferences and competitions, no awards are presented.

The first two days of the conference were dedicated to training the student delegations and forming five committees and the Security Council. The remaining three days were spent in the committees scrutinizing issues and drafting resolutions.

“It builds your character,” says Ayoub, a computer communication engineering student, whose committee during the conference dealt with the issue of information and communication technology.

“I’m more confident now in front of my students,” she adds, referring to the high school students she trains in Lebanon as part of the AL WALID GC-LAU Model United Nations program. “It’s a big responsibility to meet the expectations of students who look up to you and expect you to know the answers to all their questions.”

The Lebanese delegates cited the cultural aspect of the trip as their most valuable experience. They made friends and built a large network with students from around the world.

“We witnessed how people from different countries and cultures are getting along,” says Rajeh, an international business student, adding that “it’s a shame” that in Lebanon people from just one country often have conflicts.

“We have to bring the experience we had in Malaysia to Lebanon and try to enrich the [LAU MUN] program and deliver this valuable message to the Lebanese high school students,” he adds.

The upcoming academic year will be Kabbara’s third year in the LAU MUN program, where he has occupied positions as trainer and committee director, and has chaired one conference. This collection of experiences helped pave the way for his achievement in the GMUN conference in Malaysia.

> Read this interview where he details his experience as GMUN’s under-secretary-general for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management.


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