AlJawhara Al-Thani is currently working as an Academic Affairs Coordinator at Pre-University Education (PUE), a position she has held since March 2016.
What specific role have you played in supporting the THIMUN Qatar office/program?
The THIMUN Qatar Program falls under the umbrella of the Academic Affairs office of PUE. While the program is directly supervised by the Co-Curriculum Manager, everyone in the office does everything they can to help support the program in any way they can. The THIMUN Office is fairly self-sufficient. It has incredible talent available to it through the wonderful students who make sure the event is a success year after year. We are here as cheerleaders and champions of a truly wonderful program and assist simply by helping out with the occasional logistical issues that arise.
Have you ever been to a THIMUN Qatar event? If no, would you like to?
Before THIMUN Qatar, Qatar Academy used to host a Qatar Model United. I participated as a delegate twice while in High School. I am looking forward to attending THIMUN this January.
When you hear the words “Model United Nations”, what comes to mind? Did you ever do MUN while you were in school? Do you know others that have done MUN as an after school activity?
Any MUN event brings back memories of my experience as a delegate. The energy of the event, excitement and the nerves make the days of the conference very memorable. It’s very hard to go back to regular classes after. For a few days, students are challenge and forced to adapt and negotiate very complex issues, often with people they have just met. Model United Nations is about assuming a position on a political, social or economic issue from a perspective that you may not agree with it. It’s about engaging with a living breathing and ever-changing reality and by comparisons textbooks and worksheets are static and dull. It’s an incredible opportunity for students to push their boundaries and challenge both what is expected by their teachers and what they expect of themselves. My time as a delegate and chair both at school and university were truly eye-opening and the connections you make with students from your country and around the world will have a profound impact on your life and understanding of the world.
THIMUN is a student-run program. What are your viewpoints on student run programs?
Student-run programs are an excellent opportunity for students to showcase just how much the wider world underestimates them. Programs like THIMUN allow students to show everything they are capable of today rather than waiting for a distant future where their potential will be allowed to manifest itself. Its sends an important message that students are capable of being active engaged citizens today. Schools should do everything in their power to make sure that that message is reinforced consistently across all programs and within the curriculum. We are all citizens and students of the world no matter what our age and we should all be active in carving out the future we would like to see.
Is there anything about your current job that you are proud of and enjoy doing?
Working in education has always been a goal of mine. Education is a high stakes game because when you lose you lose potential which is hard to quantify. Failing to connect with students, adapt curriculum to reflect the ever-changing world around us or provide teachers and administrators with appropriate support can lead to lasting harm on an entire generation of students. I think that helping to support schools be the best they can be is something that makes me very proud.
Tell us something about yourself and what motivates you in your work?
I think what motivates me most is seeing the talented teachers and students we have in our schools. Seeing teachers that are so dedicated to their jobs and students who challenge the status quo motivates me to do the same; to work above and beyond the job description I have been given and to constantly challenge the norm and expect more for myself and everyone around me.
If you could say one thing to young people (high school aged) today, what words of advice would you have for them?
Do not let the conference be the end of your engagement with world issues. I understand that with school work it can be hard to balance but find ten minutes each day to read a magazine, a newspaper or a blog that will update you on current events. Read widely and deeply. Nothing exists in isolation. Find something you are passionate about and follow it. Being aware of what is happening in the world is step one. Step two is do something about it.
Be sure to show your support to all the students and staff that help make the event possible. A kind word goes a long way and it’s the least you can show your appreciation for the months of hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make THIMUN Qatar a reality.
Thank you Al Jawhara for your support of the THIMUN Qatar program. It is great to have you as part of our team!!