Fatima El-Madhi is the MUN Director at Mesaieed International School in Qatar, and contributes today’s blog piece on the recent MSMUN-Q conference, held at Qatar Academy this past weekend.
MISMUN’s and THIMUN’s student leadership teams are awesome. All great achievements start with a simple idea, and this year’s inaugural Middle School Model United Nations- Qatar was no exception.
Lisa Martin, the Head of THIMUN Qatar, had a conversation with Adeeba Ahmed, a 16 year old girl from Qatar Academy, and mentioned that some schools are starting Middle School programs, and, hey-wouldn’t it be great if there could be a conference? Six months later, Adeeba had recruited Mesaieed’s very own MISMUN Student Officer Johan Bambino in year 10 to be president of the Environment Commission and various other presidents and deputies to run the other 5 committee rooms. MISMUN club had signed up 14 delegates, all trained by MISMUN’s Head of KS3 Emma Owusu in year 12, and we were heading to Qatar Academy at 7am on a Saturday morning very bemused at all the excitement- clutching resolutions, policy statements, opening speeches and ready to rumble.
Year 7s, 8s and 9s all turned up excited, some came with a big bundle of nerves that took a while to unload and some walked in with a trademark the-devil-may-care-but-I-surely-don’t attitude that I have come to expect in accomplished MUNers, but not from fresh young Middle School students! Their audacity was infectious! They were here to persuade people that they had excellent ideas and they were about to make changes in international law that, if effected, would shock the world. We watched Middle School delegates from across Qatar debate vital issues; some argued that nuclear weapons should be dismantled instantly and that the enriched nuclear material be reused as clean sources of energy. This is typically leftist UN thinking, and that delegate will go far in a diplomatic career. Some offered everyone nuclear weapons effectively creating a worldwide stalemate, however they inserted a proviso that hospital care should also be strengthened worldwide ‘just in case’. On deglamourising violent media- one delegate argued that the media is simply too big to control in today’s world, and that we should just give in to the chaos and trust that the natural short attention span of children won’t allow them to dwell for a long time over scenes of graphic violence and nudity, whilst others argued, passionately, for all parents to remove all PCs, games consoles and TVs from homes and for children to be ‘Off-Grid” until they show that they are responsible enough to be exposed to media. Kim Jong Il would be proud of this delegate.
All the debates in all 6 committee rooms were interesting, well-argued and left me swollen with hope for the future and with pride at how well delegates had performed. In every room, delegates were leading, arguing, delegating, creating alliances and delivering impassioned oratory, and I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them. I hope you enjoy the pictures of all of them dressed to the 9s and rest assured that we should all keep an eye on these superstars of the future. Watch this space!