Madam Secretary General, Executive team members, student officers, delegates, directors, admin staff, parents and guests, I would like to start by thanking the Executive team for the wonderful welcome, it is my Greatest privilege to stand before a crowd of such wise, passionate and dedicated students from the region.
To introduce myself, my name is Ahmed Saif Al Hajari, a senior at Qatar Academy and almost a high school graduate. Through my high school career I have been so lucky to serve in numerous positions and I have had the privilege to be part of multiple executive teams, Including this very conference only last year, and it’s been such an amazing experience to watch it grow from and Idea to an international conference that’s first of its kind in the region.
Throughout my high school years, I’ve always been asked why I do MUN? Why I take on the extra work? Why I waste my weekends? wake up early in the morning, dress fancy and attend MUN conferences. Year in and year out I’ve heard this question Why do you do it? And funnily enough I couldn’t come up with an answer till only recently and today I want to take a minute to answer all those who have asked through the years, and i’ll do it by simply explaining where all of this started for me.
There I was a normal fifth grade in class, sitting with my friends, and this young women walks into our class talks to our teacher to gather our attention and then introduces herself as the President of the General Assembly, she went on to talk about the conference, she mentioned THIMUN a few times and then concluded by asking for volunteers to help out with the ceremonies. So of course me being the little ambisous fifth grade I was, the kid who wanted to try everything, my hand was the first one up to collect the parent permission slip. I was very excited for the event and was counting the days and finally there it was the day of first ever opening ceremony of THIMUN Qatar, where they had the fifth grades as the flag bearers for the parade, we were all given our assigned flag and the parade of nations began, as soon as we finished naturally all the kids put down the flags and went home with their parents. but of course not little ambisous fifth grade Ahmed. I decided to take seat at the back of the auditorium and watch the rest of the opening ceremony. I was fascinated by this program called THIMUN, bare in mind I still have no idea what is, yet there I was sitting all alone in the back of the fully packed auditorium, listening to speech after speech after speech. Later that day I went back home and spent the rest of the night reading every brochure, analyzing every flyer and watching every video only to simply understand what MUN is.
Fast forward a few years here I am, that same ambitious fifth grader only a few years older and many years wiser thanks to MUN. After being threw it all it’s sad to say that my high school MUN career has come to end. From that night I sat at the back of the auditorium 8 years ago till this day, it’s been a long time running, but i would definitely do it again… Now to answer the long awaited question of Why I do MUN? The answer is because MUN has allowed step into multiple shoes, it has allowed me fight for and represent those who go completely against my personal morals and beliefs, it has allowed me to understand and dive into the confusing pool of politics, it has given me endless opportunities to grow and further better myself, it has been the reason of a service trip to Nepal that has changed the way I view life forever. Its has allowed me to interact and meet some of the world’s most influential individuals. Its has allowed me to create bonds and friendships all over the world. It has made me better understand myself and has taught me what career I wish to undertake in the near future. To put it simply MUN started for me as result of curiosity of an ambitious fifth grade, it then slowly turned into a interest rather than an extracurricular activity and now i’m glad to say it has turned into a passion and that I will hopefully continue in the next chapter of my life.
Now I tell you all of this because the Middle school model united nation conference here in Doha provides you guys with an opportunity of a lifetime and I congratulate you for taking this opportunity and making the best of it. A keynote speaker at THIMUN Qatar once said Travel in the direction of your fears, throughout the past couple of days I witnessed each and everyone of you travel in the direction of your fears weather it be by building up the courage to join a merging group, voicing your delegations thoughts on the podium or simply just attending such a conference you were able to identify a fear and walk towards it. I must say that seeing a auditorium full of young aspiring leaders that come right out of a program such as MSMUN, it gives me great pleasure to say that I was a part of it.
Now as my final bit of advice, when you leave this building today it’s not only the end of MSMUN 2017 but rather the beginning of your MUN journey. Allow yourself to grow, allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them and most importantly allow yourself to travel in the direction of your fears.
Thank you and congratulations.