TQ-Afghanistan Initiative – second meeting focuses on education

Ola Al Tai is a student at Qatar International School, and one of the founding members of the THIMUN Qatar-Afghanistan Initiative. She provides a recap of our second online meeting with students from around the world, including a growing number of students in Kabul.

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As our second session of the QLC Afghanistan project commenced, we were all very excited and eager to not only spread our MUN knowledge, but to also engage in a political discussion with these students. Their mentality and view on issues continues to shock and impress us all.

Our session began by reviewing country research. We use a collaborative Google document in which all information can be compiled and accessed by all members of the project. Research is one of the most important skills to acquire in the MUN world. It enables a delegate to speak and represent their country with a huge amount of compassion and confidence as a result of their extensive research. The concept of research is quite a foreign entity to our students in Afghanistan who have yet to have been exposed to various resources and mediums in which they can research such as libraries or the Internet. However we all agreed on one thing: “Knowledge is power.” Not only is this phrase applicable in MUN but in life as well, especially in the lives of these students.

Next we moved on to our questions and answer session. In an effort to initiate a discussion panel between everyone, we had questions prepared to ask the students in Afghanistan. Their answers truly blew us away; they speak with such articulation and wisdom of those beyond their years. Amongst the topics discussed were changes to be made in the educational system in Afghanistan, without any hesitation one of the students stated that she would like to see a curriculum which isn’t heavily reliant on textbooks and memorizing information, rather one that encourages students to think on a broader scale and explore different areas, much like the IB system.

In addition to this the importance of the role of women in the growth of Afghanistan was discussed. It was very refreshing to hear not only the females in the group stress the importance of a woman’s role but the males agreeing to this as well. This is a testament to how alike we all are regardless how far away we live and different the lives we lead are. At MUN conferences we discuss the empowerment of women as well as granting women and men equal rights and this is exactly the kind of plans these students are passionate about implementing in their nation in years to come.