By Rahema Velmi, Park House English School
It was that epiphany of a moment where I sat in one of my conferences and looked around. There was not one single representative from a Pakistani school!
I have always had a passion instilled in me to do better, to bring change. The patriotism and dedication I had to my country, brought about my passion to better my Pakistani community. Before long, I had a an entire proposal planned and prepped ready to be implemented on how I was going to start MUN at one of the Pakistani schools here in Qatar – Pakistan Education Centre. The principal of PEC, Madam Nargis Raza Otho, extended her greatest gratitude to welcome my initiative and the plans I had wished to impose.
The prepared assembly to a collective group of students from Grades 9-10 at Pakistan Education Centre marked the beginning foundations of the budding Model United Nations to be established. I was excited to finally be standing in front of them all! The assembly was an explanatory one, to show the basic gist of MUN and make aware to the students of the fruitful opportunity which would be at their grasp. In my assistance, my director Ms Naomi Rennicks and our PHESMUN Secretary General Chris Nasrawi, both added a courteous speech to the students to showcase the virtues Model United Nations had to offer. The introductions had been set, mandatory applications were distributed and that enthusiastic buzz in the pool of students which I was lucky to witness, had me euphoric for what was to come.
The month prior to the assembly was a hectic combination of meetings, discussions and simple hardship of bringing the MUN workshops to life at PEC; with Madam Zaibunissa Kazi, Madam Naheed Akhtar and Sir Rana Wasim, this initiative would not have been even remotely possible with the continuous support, patience and the strong commitment they had. These teachers from PEC, I would like to thank for working with me collaboratively in every step of the way, with generosity and sincerity.
The month of training I gave lasted a total of 8 sessions, with 16th January 2016 being the first. When I met the students for the first time, they surpassed all of my expectations and were even better than I thought they would be. Every issue was taken with the utmost interest, from illegal immigrants to the refugee crisis, and hands flew up at every question I asked. It was what I would define perfectly as ‘youth in action’. The energy in the room was always hyped and energetic, and complimented the spirit needed for something like MUN. Many of the students were already conclusive debaters and the vigour in their opinions and arguments reflected it. Despite it being Saturday mornings, we all beat the odds of morning blues to fight for another change, another idea or another breakthrough in resolving the stakes of the issues at hand!
We even had a couple sessions over at Park House English School to put the skills the trained fifteen had to test. To be thrown into a completely new environment, with a blend of different students – was an experience that was new to them all. It was the chance to practise what they had learnt with me and hopefully be able to use them farther when they attended their future conferences as well. And now, with the entire training of MUN for my fifteen has elapsed, I definitely feel sad about it all coming to an end. Each individual student was unique and never failed to surprise me.
We held our closing ceremony with certificate distribution on Sunday, the 6th of March, as a way of commemorating the entire journey praise those who participated. The PHESMUN Executive Team showed their support in attendance as well – Director Ms Naomi Rennicks, PHESMUN Secretary General Chris Nasrawi, Deputy Secretary General Mousa Al Waraki and Head of Admin Firas Al Chaer.
We all have shared an immense bond over the journey we have had and I wish every single one of them the best of luck for their future MUN aspirations. With that, I feel proud to say that Pakistan Education Centre is the first Pakistani school in Qatar to be taking part in Model United Nations!