By Asma Muhammad, QMUN Secretary-General
“This may sound dumb but what if we do an actual virtual conference?
This was the text I sent on the 15th of March to my MUN Leadership team and it was the spark of something incredible. The thought of a virtual conference arised after hearing the disappointing news that our in-person school MUN conference was cancelled due to the pandemic. But after working with so much dedication, we weren’t about to have our efforts go to waste and decided to dive into the uncharted waters of virtual Model UN.
Quarantined MUN (QMUN) is managed entirely by the youth, a group of MUN enthusiasts, who wanted to bring some joy during a bleak period. It’s the first of its kind in Qatar to mimic THIMUN procedure so closely. It was a one-day conference on the 6th of June that required extensive planning in order to transfer an in-person experience to a virtual one, while not sacrificing what made MUN conferencing so great. From opening speeches, ceremonies, POI systems, voting procedures and so forth, QMUN strategized how each phase of conferencing could successfully be achieved online. We found Discord was the best platform to do so, as it enabled several large group chats and voice chats to work seamlessly and cohesively in one server.
QMUN’s theme was “One Small Step”. As we wanted each committee to speak about an international issue and a local issue, revolving the Middle-East. This feature stimulated delegates to think critically about issues that are rather relevant to us being located in Qatar. Simultaneously, delegates still had the opportunity to discuss and debate pressing problems that have global impacts, such as the pandemic itself, and not just local ones.
In QMUN’s first ever conference, it hosted 150+ delegates from 40+ countries, and 90+ schools. With a strong, emerging brand presence, QMUN was definitely one to watch. The QMUN team provided video tutorials and training calls for delegates in order them to understand our procedure to the fullest and enjoy the experience as much as possible.
When the big day, the 6th of June, finally came, it was a huge success. Committees were lively and fruitful, Chairs were well-trained and optimistic and our delegates were enthusiastic and thought-provoking, from beginning to end.
With that, the first chapter of QMUN’s story came to its close- but it’s plot has not yet ended as QMUN looks ahead to expand further for their next upcoming conference!
QMUN’s aim is to find the silver lining during this pandemic, since although we have lost a lot, and unfortunately continue to, we can still find ways to gain.
Quarantined MUN, is truly a social (distancing) event like no other.