Man on a Mission: Alain Meidinger and French MUN

An Interview with THIMUN co-chair Alain Meidinger
Interviewer: Rayan El Amine

Alan Meidinger is currently acting as the co-chair in THIMUN Foundation. His passion and consistent participation in conferences around the world have put him in quite the unique position. His perspective into a conference such as QLC may be unmatched. Speaking on his role in THIMUN Foundation, as well as some moments from QLC that resonate with him, he is providing incredible insight into this conference.

Could you tell us a little about your experience in the THIMUN foundation?

I joined the THIMUN Foundation in 2004. I was at the time, and still today the only History and Geography teacher of the Board. My fellow colleagues are more linguist teachers. Almost every year I propose to the Board the theme of the conference to come, theme rephrase by my native speaker colleagues.

I am in charge also of the Tuesday Cinema Evening during THIMUN The Hague. With the help of Irene Crépin, THIMUN managing director, we look for a film or a documentary relevant to the film.

Furthermore, and following my 2nd visit to Doha during the Film Festival, I proposed to the Board 3 years ago to start in The Hague a World Photo Exhibition and Photo contest.. 2018 will be the 3rd exhibition.

Last but not least. I organise workshops on MUN. I went to Singapore in 2005 and 2006, Montevideo in 2015 to promote amongst teachers all the benefits of MUN and THIMUN. QLCs 2016 and 2017 are new workshops for the French committees.

You’ve been a part of QLC for a few years now, how do you think it has changed?

QLC ’17 will be my 3rd participation. QLC has moved from the Qatar Academy where I went the first time to the National Conference Centre. This move have made the conference already very professional to a landmark in the history of the THIMUN Foundation. It attracts people from all over the world, sharing their experience. It is also a vast network of students, teachers and professors alike. Thanks to Cameron Jansen then Lisa Martin, QLC has been shaping the Middle East leaders of tomorrow.

What do you think is the value of MUN in multiple languages?

The United Nations has 6 official languages [Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish]. It is more than obvious to me that MUN conferences in these different languages must be promoted. I am French and try to promote in Europe, Africa and in Qatar French MUNs.

2018 will the 14th session of our French MUN called Modèle francophone des Nations unies in The Hague. Since its creation in 2004, MFNU has supported the creation of other conferences especially in Egypt, France, Morocco, Turkey. I organised workshops in Casablanca and Istanbul. I am in contact with French Politic Sciences University in Menton, next to Nice, where a multilangual conference is organised every year at the end of March [Arabic, English and French]. Our MFNU attracts now schools coming from Belgium, Bulgaria, Benin, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Luxemburg, Niger, Nigeria, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, UK.

If I come to Qatar is because there is strong demand of French MUN in the region. With the support of Lisa Martin and Samia Zakaria from Lycée Bonaparte in Doha, we have launched last year the first French Committee. At TQ’18 there will be 2 and they are fully booked.

All in all, MUN conferences in multiple languages allow more students to participate in this activity because we tear down the language barrier. MUN is a strong and powerful member of the Civil Society, the more members, the better the world will be govern in the future.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular this QLC?

I am always looking forward to meeting new people, presenting other views, other perspectives. I might not be always in agreement but it is important to listen to others in order to better understand the world we live in, and selfishly to better understand who I am.

I am also looking forward to seeing friends coming from other parts of the world to share views, projects.

What excites you about coming to Doha?

Next to QLC’17 I love modern architecture, museums… I haven’t seen yet MATHAF and I know that I will need to come back to Doha to visit the National Museum realised by French architect Jean Nouvel.