SDG5 – Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality

We are living in a country that has experienced three decades of war, where no one has equal rights and where women are considered slaves for men. They don’t have the right to raise their voice, or to work shoulder-to-shoulder with men for their community, their people and for peace. Their only rights are to sit in their homes, do house chores, keep their mouths shut all of the time, and tolerate all the bad things that happen to them; if not then they will be beaten by men or will be killed.

The world has witnessed what happened to Farkhunda; a talented young woman who was passionate about her country and dreamt to take action for peace, but she was shut out. No, she was cruelty killed by hundreds of men on the street, her body run over, dragged, and burned. While we all know of things that men can do well, women can also do same and even better than men. If men are dreaming bigger, women should do so. If men are working for their society, women should accompany them. Women should be involved in big decisions, because they have that talent!

 

This is why the HELA (Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan) organization is focusing on SDG5 – Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality. We are promoting Women through MUN, to become the future leaders of Afghanistan, to be able to raise their voice in front of thousands of people without any fear, and to be able to find solutions for the tough situations of their country. We are also promoting women through another project of ours, which aims to create the future business women of Afghanistan. And the reason that we do this is: because we believe that what women could do, sometimes even men can’t.

So, last but not least, I would say this: this world is incomplete without consideration for every single person. But look at us- we are not considering an entire gender. So we can’t say that we are complete; we would- and can only- be complete if we give equal rights to women!

 

By: Rahmatullah Hamdard, HELA Organization CEO & Founder

The Security Council and THIMUN 2017

By Jan Sedlacek

About the Security Council:

When the United Nations were established at the end of World War II to prevent any other conflict of such magnitude, the United Nations Security Council was tasked with the great role of maintaining international peace and security and preventing the escalation of a conflict into an armed struggle at all costs. In the last decade, the Security Council has been meeting almost continually to address ongoing issues of global importance that pose a threat to the maintenance of peace. It consists of 15 nations, 5 of which are permanent (Also known as the P5, consisting of UK, USA, France, China and Russia), who possess the veto power over which there has been a great deal of debate over, as it is misused by certain members more often rather than not. The other 10 member states are elected for two year terms and typically there should be a representation of each geographic region of the planet.

The Security Council is the only UN body whose decisions are legally binding. It is also the only body which can authorize military action. Nevertheless, this is often the last choice as the purpose of the Security Council is to, as previously mentioned, prevent armed conflict at all costs. As such, the council elects to impose economic sanctions on nations unwilling to cooperate. Since its establishment, the Security Council has established a number of important peacekeeping operations, for example MINUSCA, which will be discussed alongside the issue of Central African Republic. Currently, there is significant discussion happening over the reform of the Security Council, taking into consideration the distribution of the veto power, the permanent status of nations and methods of refining the inner workings of the council.

About the Question of the Central African Republic:

The ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic is one of the many that cannot be easily summarised in one paragraph. It is the direct consequence of religious, political and social instability, fueled by ethnic divisions and unstable government. (It is said that since its independence from France, the country has been everything but a Republic). From an empire to a dictatorship to the hideout of some of the worst African War Criminals, the citizens of the Central African Republic have seen it all, and little improvement is one on the horizon. With the transformation of a relief mission called MISCA to a UN peacekeeping operation called MINUSCA, the UN Security Council realised the volatility of the region and the importance of maintaining peace there. The issue of the Central African Republic appears regularly on the Security Council agenda, yet a satisfactory resolution is not reached very often. Support for the country is underway, both at a peacekeeping and a humanitarian status, but the Security Council has yet to effectively apply long term solutions to the problem, establishing a secure environment in one of the poorest, yet tremendously important players on the African political field.

About the Question of Syria

Nearly 6 years of civil war has entrenched Syria, managing to amass an astounding death toll of more than 450,000. What started as a peaceful anti-government protest escalated into a full wage multinational conflict pooling in countries such as the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran into the conflict. Internally, Bashar al-Assad and his army have clashed viciously with opposition groups in bids to gain control over territory. Additionally, the so-called Islamic State (IS) has been rising in authority in the region, making Syria a cauldron of both internal and external conflicts. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, today, Syria is the world’s largest generator of Sunni-Shiite sectarianism.

Furthermore, the Syrian conflict has forced more than 11 million people into displacement, causing yet another crisis, as a result – the refugee crisis. Ultimately, it is the mixture of international interventions and internal disarray that has made the “Question of Syria” one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st century.

The UN Security Council has worked actively on the conflict, and has usually ended up in a state of division when it came to the agreement between China and Russia on one sides and the United States, United Kingdom, and France on the other. Regardless, it managed to facilitate the entry of international aid and support through resolution 2268.

Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts:

Terrorism has been present for many years and as of the past two decades it has been on a rampant rise. The act of terrorism has always been to invoke fear and panic within a population, intending to cause major physical and psychological damage to all those involved. Just ten years ago in 2006, almost two hundred thousand casualties had been recorded as a result of terrorist acts, and this number has only continued to grow within the past ten years with most recent attacks in countries such as France. Furthermore, the rise in terrorism has increased with the alibi of religious extremism with groups such as Boko Haram and ISIL. The threat of terrorist acts being committed have increased around the globe with one of the major causes towards the rise being increased funding to terrorist groups, especially from state sponsors, as in many cases terrorist groups while a threat to certain nations, can also provide strategic advantages for others. The Security Council works tirelessly to be able to create resolutions towards being able to hinder terrorist groups and eventually work towards the removal of all terrorist groups across the world.

PHESMUN Outreach to Pakistan Education Centre

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!

main_photo-PHESMUN outreach

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!

 

2017 Executive Team Announced

The THIMUN Qatar office is pleased to announce the 2017 THIMUN Qatar Executive Team. You’ll be hearing more from them in the months ahead. A big congratulations to Secretary Ahmed Al Hajari and his Executive Team.

Incoming SG, Ahmed Al Hajari
Incoming SG, Ahmed Al Hajari

 

Executive Team
Ahmed Al Hajari Secretary General Qatar Academy Doha
Aliyaa Haji Deputy Secretary General Qatar Academy Doha
Sahar Qazi Deputy Secretary General American School of Doha
Lina Maragha Deputy Secretary General American School of Doha
Ata Chowdhry Deputy Secretary General Doha College
General Assembly
Nadia Bahemia President General Assembly Doha College
Mohamed Altaji Deputy President, GA Qatar Academy Doha
Sandev Ferdinando Deputy President, GA Park House English School
Other Executive Positions
Amal Dualeh Head of Admin Qatar Academy Doha
Habiba Sallam Head of Press Qatar Academy Doha
Jibrail Cheema Head of IT Qatar Academy Doha

A word from the SG of BISCMUN

By Ibrahim Abouelfettouh, Secretary General BISCMUN 2016

This year, at BISCMUN (British International School of Cairo), we wanted to try something different, something that wouldn’t only benefit the delegates’ experience, but our chairs and staff. Normally, at BISCMUN, we’d have a pressing world theme, as is normal with MUN, and we’d argue over what’s right but eventually, the majority wins not by having the best points, but simply by being the majority. So in choosing the issue for our conference, we wanted to pick something that is split, and that doesn’t depend solely on your country’s stance. This is where we introduced ‘Ethics in the Modern World’. This issue, not a clear material issue such as, ‘water’ or ‘equality’ for example, but important all the same. Ethics is something that is under-discussed in our world, in my personal opinion. This is because we all assume that we know what is right for one another and an organization such as the UN, one that decides he fate of so many, needs to know the best interpretation of ‘right’ possible. One country’s ethical opinion is not the same as another’s, obviously but it’s a major roadblock in debate today, inside and outside of MUN or diplomacy as a whole. Whenever we argue with someone, we are challenging presupposed positions, which is good in itself, but the point here is that we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere if the very criteria that our opposition is using to judge what is right, is not the same as ours. Basically, we need a moral baseline for the whole world, a set of principles that govern how we govern. Obviously, as times change, these would change as well, but what we tried to do at BISCMUN is stop arguing in the numbers, because diplomacy is not a popularity contest, it’s an argumentative process in which everyone learns, but to learn the same material, and at the same pace, we need to be on the same page, read the same language; that page being diplomacy and that language being debate.

Committee

This theme was carried on successfully and smoothly by the secretariat as well as by the speaker: Mrs. Neveen El-Tahri, as successful businesswoman who was voted among the top 50 most influential women in the Arab World, and Mr. David Clay, the political advisor to the British Ambassador, who gave eloquent and thought provoking speeches.

 

With all of this in mind, we had around 175 delegates, 4 GA committees: Human Rights, GA1 – Disarmament, GA3 – Financial and Economical and GA4 – Political, debating issues such as policies of capital punishment in retentionist countries or biological warfare, issues that are very easily controversial among countries old and new, developed and developing, east and west. At the end, we entertained the four best resolutions and had a crisis committee where Yemen’s Houthis attacked Sana’a, found and used experimentally created long range biological weapons, bombing the Washington DC in the US and Israel at the same time. We had this being presented on the stage to our delegates through newsflashes, to make the debate more dynamic. This issue is an amalgamation of a few of the GA’s issues as well as true to history with reports calling on Yemen’s perceived use of Bio-weapons as well as the Houthis’ deep hatred of the US and Israel. Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for British foreign and commonwealth affairs, and Mr. Andrew Parker, director-general of MI5. The crises gave the delegates an opportunity to think on their feet, something essential for the development of critical thinking, which is a keystone of debate in diplomacy. In the ICJ, we debated the UK vs. The Martial Islands, which is an issue involving nuclear weapons and their reduction. Our advocates, as well as our attentive justices participated avidly in the debate, perhaps one of the most interesting I’ve seen. The verdict labeled the Martial Islands victors over the UK and justice was served.

opening

In conclusion, thankfully, we achieved our goals. Thoughts were provoked, ideas challenged, issues tackled, and resolutions proposed. Personally, I ended off my MUN high school career on a high note, and I’m sure, as did everyone. The opportunity I was given to do this was immense, but it wasn’t of my doing, because I couldn’t have done any of this alone. Therefore, I would like to thank everyone who contributed, the Secretariat, the admins, the student officers and of course, the directors. I would also like to personally thank Ms. Martin, who came all the way to Egypt with intents of improving our conference, which is vital to the success of anything. Without any of this tremendous help, this conference wouldn’t have been such a success.

Secretary General BISCMUN 2016,  Ibrahim Abouelfettouh

 

THIMUN OMUN Team Reflects on #tq2016

This article is brought to us by Press Member and OMUN member, Dema A’bbas .

OMUN Team at QNCCWhen I used to talk about adventure, I always included jungles and road trips on my own. When I used to talk about fun, I always included the quietness of being alone on a Saturday night as I typed down some thoughts while listening to music. When I used to talk about ambitions, I always included finding a place I could always call home.

Turned out that this place I wanted to find wasn’t located on any sort of map. Instead, it was between the airy laughs and sarcastic jokes exchanged between all the delegates my eyes could catch sight of and my ears could hear as they chatted while they walked in their suits, looking all professional and determined to prove their opponents wrongs, all the way to their committees’ rooms.

It also turned out that those adventures I yearned for actually had to be shared between me and a huge group of people, who were nothing less and everything more than family and amazingly caring, loving, enjoyable people the world has ever granted me a chance to meet.

And about that fun I always desired? What else other than THIMUN could ever bring me something like it? Honestly, nothing could. And here goes why:

THIMUN is an experience that provided me and everyone I knew with other meanings to what life and family is. In only three days, I got to meet a whole lot of people, and they all had one thing in common which was the diversity in who they are. Everywhere I looked, I saw new faces that came from a certain place in the world. Teenagers from literally everywhere filled the building, giving a piece of their minds and cultures to everyone else surrounding them. The joy could be felt in the ambience, especially when it was time for the, rather I say it, marvelously enchanting ceremonies – where it didn’t matter who you sat next to because simply: you’d always have fun with anyone, no matter what country or religion or any symbolic title they held dear to their hearts. In THIMUN, we are all humans who want nothing but to have fun and make friends.

Now, no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to be able to put my words together to explain how utterly mesmerizing the conference was. So I asked some of my friends to help me put our feelings into words, and here’s what they had to say about it:

“For me, the trip included so many precious and golden memories. Being a part of a group is always hard when you barely know anybody. But in a way or another, those people found their ways to my heart along with our instructors, so I loved it as it crafted itself in my memories to be forever there. So even though I was an outcast that nobody knew before the trip to Qatar, I really enjoyed every single minute and found everyone seeming to accept me and filled the whole experiment with joy.”

-Waseem Abadi, and of course I had to mentally slap him for saying he felt like an outcast, for he was the life of the party.

“THIMUN was a life changing experience. Being a diplomat outside your country, and getting to know people from all over the globe are things you can’t go through like they’re some usual ever-day routine, and gladly, I’ve been enormously lucky to experience all of that with the greatest mates ever.”

Eman Ghanaiem, who was so much fun to hang around with and laugh along with when she glared playful daggers at our hearts whenever we were being (annoyingly) a group of complete morons.

Now to make this next quote clearer and easier to understand, the next friend of mine here is always down for knafa, which is an Arab dessert that is simply described as the moral of life for how beautiful it is. So here goes Rima Bdir – my friend – when she described THIMUN:

 “It was something close to knafa. It was a lifetime experience. I wouldn’t think of missing it if I got another chance especially if it means going back with the same flawless group. I still prefer if you add the knafa reference though – it expresses much more.”

Bashar Zhalka had something on his mind to mention (other than knafa):

“It’s pretty difficult to sum up eight of the best days of my life (which is how much time it took us to get to Qatar, participate in the conference and head back home) in a couple of sentences. However, I can say that the new meaning this trip gave to missing certain moments and people exceeded its known limits.”

Haseeb Malik stole the words right out of my mouth as he typed a message to me on what THIMUN means to him, and may I add that he was watching a match while doing so and I don’t even know how it turned out to be this perfect:

“THIMUN Qatar has more to offer than just debating. It is a blend of cultures, traditions and perspectives. THIMUN lays the foundation for youth to express themselves and put their personality to test as well as adopt a diplomatic style of communication. Having attended three consecutive THIMUN, I regard the event to be of great importance in my life and a certain achievement I shall always cherish and be proud of. I met new people; we became a group and a family at the end. Finally that it has come to an end for me, all the memories shall be locked away with great sentiment. To conclude with, THIMUN stands out as the most exceptional medium for youth to test, present and prove themselves.

And now for my best friend’s turn (it took her literally ages to write this):

“THIMUN Qatar will always stay as my top favorite trip of all times! As the years go by it only gets better. It was an honor for me to attend THIMUN Qatar again this year, and to be given the amazing privilege to be with the group I came with and to make new friends there. THIMUN Qatar will always be remembered as the star that shined my way to unforgettable things.” Noor Freg

How adorable of her!

So really, to anyone out there who is considering attending THIMUN:

Go for it! It’s worth the chance and shot. You’d always find your way when you go there. It’s a bit nerve wrecking at first, but once you get in the scene, trust me when I tell you that you’d never want to leave.

 

 

 

International School of London Model United Nations

By Dana Al-Rumaihi – Head of ISLQ MUN Press and Darpana Vellanki – ISLQ MUN Chief Editor

Dana MUN logo 1

International School of London Qatar has run several internal conferences that concluded successfully in preparing delegates for future conferences. The conferences have ensured that delegates are well familiar with MUN procedures and appropriate language. The latest internal conference took place on the 21st and 22nd of January, with two committees: Human Rights Commission (HRC) & Security Council (SC). HRC debated about LGBT Rights and Internet Privacy in the technologically globalized 21st century, while, SC debated about the situation in Yemen and the China Sea. Both debates resulted in the production of correctly formatted and argumentative resolutions that led to fruitful debates in the committee sessions. ISLQ MUN Secretary General, Frederico Belohuby, reflected, “due to the great scholastic outcomes of MUN, ISLQ wishes and values to keep MUN at a diplomatic level and strives in its efforts to initiate ISLQ MUN’s annual conferences.”

Abiding by the words of the Secretary General, ISLQ is hosting its first local conference on the 24th and 25th of March in the school’s campus. The conference is going to host several schools from around the country and welcome delegates to explore the conference’s theme of “A Changing World: Technology & Globalization”. With over six different committees including the Human Rights Commission, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and several General Assemblies (GA), delegates will have the opportunity to enhance their diplomatic communication skills and construct arguments expressing their country’s views on contemporary global issues. Debates will revolve around the issues of legal barriers in the workforce, the promotion of regional trade, and issues associated with cyber security, among others.

ISLQ MUN conferences aim to develop critical thinking by sparking debates on issues in our current day. We are looking forward to welcoming the delegates in March and hope to see an amalgam of old and new faces in the conference. In the meantime, find us on Facebook: ISLQ MUN; and Instagram: @ISLQMUN.

ISQL2

 

Planting the Seeds of Peace

By Reem Abdul Majeed and Mohamed Altaji, Palestinians living in Doha

Aspire

Whenever asked about my favorite experience, MUN always comes to mind. The rush of the students, the excitement of the newcomers, and most importantly, the diversity of the participants all contribute to numerous experiences that will never be forgotten. This past January, the fifth annual THIMUN Qatar (TQ 2016) was added to my list of MUN conferences! However, we can get to that later. Allow me to start by introducing myself; I am a Palestinian girl living in Doha, Qatar; currently a junior at Qatar Academy and doing my first year of the International Baccalaureate (IB). My name is Reem Abdul Majid.

MUN became my single and sole passion at a young age. I always had the vision of sharing it with others with the hope that it would open their eyes as it had done to mine. One of the most memorable conferences of my MUN career so far was THIMUN Qatar 2015 (TQ 2015.) This specific conference was special to me because it had hit me in the soft spot of my heart the way no other conference had done yet!

It had taught me what it meant to be Palestinian.

Living outside of Palestine, I never had the opportunity to simply sit down and have a cup of ‘kahwe’ (traditional Palestinian coffee,) with teenagers of my age that live in Palestine. Residing outside of ‘el-bilad’ (my home country) meant giving up that right instantaneously… Until now. During TQ 2015, a Palestinian delegation graced us with their presence in attending the conference, and for the first time in my life, I learned what it meant to be from Palestine. It was even more interesting as this specific delegation came from within the 1948 borders. The Palestinian delegation came through the Online Model United Nations program (OMUN). There were only seven delegates, but this was more than enough to change my way of thinking and for that I thank THIMUN Qatar.

Now fast forward to TQ 2016. I began counting down the days down to this conference as soon the gavel hit the platform to signal the closing of the final day of  TQ 2015. The days went on and on and finally, at around 120 days left for TQ 2016, I was called into my MUN Director’s office (Ms. Lisa Martin) along with my classmate and very good friend Mohamed Altaji. Mohamed is Palestinian and is also very active as an MUNer.

We were offered to mentor a Palestinian delegation of 7 delegates coming to TQ 2016 through an organization called “Seeds of Peace”. It took me by complete surprise and took me less than a few seconds to make up my mind and agree. I left the office with a feeling of euphoria asking myself questions like ‘is this real? Is this it? Mohamed and I were ecstatic. This was really happening. We could finally drink our tea and coffee with Palestinians living in Palestine.

We instantly began planning for their arrival. Two of the seven delegates were coming from Gaza, while the rest came from parts of the West Bank and Israel. Mohamed and I decided that social media was the only and best way to communicate with the delegates. So we created a Facebook group. This allowed us to introduce ourselves to the Seeds of Peace directors and the delegates themselves (the seedlings.)  Through Facebook we were able to post information on how to write a policy statement and resolution.  For some of the delegates, it was their first time debating in MUN so they received their first training on an online course provided by Mohamed and I.  We were able to answer plenty of their questions questions and offered feedback to each piece work prior to the conference.

However, beyond MUN, Mohamed and I decided that we wanted to take it one step further and really get to know the delegates. We wanted to make friends in Palestine. So when all the planning was well and done, and the the activities booked and ready, we waited for the Seeds of Peace to arrive to Doha.

26th of January 2016…

This is a date I will cherish for my lifetime. It was the day we met the seedlings.

Mohamed and I greeted them in their hotel lobby the morning before the conference began. Hamada, Kamal, Waleed, Lisa, Mysoon, Dana and Raghad. We finally met them. We introduced ourselves in person, sat down and had breakfast with them. Instantly, stories began to be traded faster than freshly baked Palestinian fatayer (homemade baked goods) with the neighbours. They were the most amazing stories… their journey to Doha, their everyday lives, pastimes and hobbies… it did not take long for me to realize how similar, but also how very different our lifestyles were.

Seeds bowling

When we were all well fed we set off to get the day started. Mohamed and I took the delegation bowling. It is a rather common activity in Doha, but it did not seem like it was in Palestine. A bond was instantly formed. Later in the day we took them to Aspire Park, one of the parks in Doha. There, Mohamed’s family welcomed us and showed tremendous amounts of love to the delegation. Of course we had to show them Doha’s giant skyscrapers and marina, so we brought them to the corniche. As there was very little time before sunset we hopped on a dhow and took a cruise around the corniche. I will never forget the look on their faces, especially those who came from a place where visiting the beach was denied from them. We ended the day with dinner at Souq Waqif a traditional market located in the heart of Doha. In this dinner we combined the Online Model United Nations delegation, which had fifteen Palestinian delegates along with the Seeds of Peace delegation as well as each groups mentors and supervisors. This was something phenomenal! Everyone was making new friends!

Corniche

The conference itself passed by in a blink of an eye. The seeds engaged in valuable debate on the important issues of the world today. Most had gone up to the podium and presented their opening speech in front of more than a hundred delegates. I would say that they were pretty popular in their committees. This was rewarding for Mohamed and I to hear. The last day of the conference ended with a cultural night hosted by TQ. It included cultural music, activities and dinner. We all danced along to traditional khaleeji music as well as the traditional Palestinian ‘debkeh’. It was a bittersweet moment.

Seeds with QAD mentors

I can now say I did drink my kahwe. However, I did not make friends from Palestine like I had wanted to…

I had made a family. And it was this that made all the difference in the world.

Monaco Delegation

“THIMUN Qatar was a very unique experience for me. Getting to debate the most heated issues the world is facing and having to come up with solutions to limit and hopefully end threats to international security was both challenging and exceptional. From past experiences I thought that MUN is all about sticking to your country’s policy statement and fighting for your country’s objective; however, THIMUN Qatar showed me the importance of collaborative work with other delegates of the house even with countries that are considered “enemies” for the greater good. THIMUN Qatar motivated me to think that politics can also be done in a human way.”

– Hamada Najjar from Tulkarem, West Bank

Dhow Cruise

 

“I’m grateful that I attended this international conference in which I made new life friends. I also learned a lot about different cultures; specifically the Qatari culture. Being Gazan was the hardest part of THIMUN. I was asked many questions about the situation and the conflict and my life, but overall this awesome experience will never be forgotten!”

– Kamal Mashharawi from Gaza

“It’s amazing how a group of random people start off as strangers, turn into friends, and become family all within a time frame of five short days…”

– Mohamed Altaji, Palestinian living in Doha

Travel Log: Journey to THIMUN Qatar

Christina Jisto is a 10th grader who recently joined MUN at Collegiate American School in Dubai. 

Travel Log: THIMUN Qatar

stage_Christina

Day 1 (Tuesday)– MUN is totally a new experience for me. I’ve never been interested to join because I was never confident enough to do it. Public speaking is not my forté. Starting grade 10, I decided that I had to do something about my shyness/quietness. I was definitely nervous. The day we arrived was a free day. We arrived late afternoon and had the rest of the day all to ourselves. You won’t believe how tensed I was about the next day / first day of the conference. Tuesday ended and the next day began in a blink of an eye.

Day 2 (Wednesday)- First day of the conference. We all had to wake up at 5:00, eat breakfast at 5:45, and after that, we had to meet with our MUN directors at 6:30 in the hotel lobby. I’m proud of myself for waking up this early. *pat on the back*. We arrived at QNCC at 7:00 A.M sharp. As soon as we got there, my friend and I started to look for some people who were going to attend the same committee (GA2) as me, sadly I found no one. Anxiety kicks in. What if I’ll be alone during the 3-day conference? So many stupid questions went through my mind at that time. Eventually, I met some wonderful people in my committee! I wasn’t so lonely after all. After arriving the committee room, we were divided into groups during the lobbying session. I didn’t contribute as much as I hoped I would, but that was okay. Our resolution was submitted and soon it was going to be voted against or with. Our chair later dismissed us to go attend the opening ceremony and it was amazing! The ASDoha choir and band killed it! There was a live performance from Emmanuel Jal and it was so inspirational.

stage and parade

Day 3 (Thursday)– The second day began. The whole day was a blur. Thursday was the day the official conference began. No more lobbying, no more fun, just seriousness. We turned in our resolution and waited to hear everyone’s thoughts on it. Sadly, our resolution was postpond to the next day due to time constraints. As I was reading though the other groups’ resolutions, I was thinking, ‘Is ours even good enough?’. Taking aside those thoughts, my favorite part of the day was when I had the chance to vote. I felt like I was important and that people needed my vote to see if their resolution would be passed or not. However, I didn’t speak up or debate, but like I said, this was my first. I recognized many familiar faces from the QLC last year. I was so excited for the next day and I hoped it would be a good one.

Day 4 (Friday)- Last day of the conference. I had so much fun on the last day. I was never expecting this much laughter and joy to have come out of this day. Back to the conference hall, I had to go. Our resolution was being presented and I have to say, my team did a great job. Even though our resolution wasn’t three pages long, it was still passed by the vast number of votes voting with us. 30 minutes before we were dismissed to the closing ceremony, our Chair decided to read some notes that fellow delegates sent off to their friends. Many flirty notes were sent and it was hilarious hearing them out loud. Some were inappropriate at that situation, but whatever! Another delegate decided to thank the wonderful admin for their constant running all throughout the committee room, helping delegates pass their notes. It was equally hilarious to the previous act. As we got let out, I headed straight towards the auditorium where the closing ceremony was about to commence. Felt pretty emotional and proud to have attended THIMUN for the first time. We left QNCC and headed back to our hotel to get ready for the Cultural Night that took place in Qatar Academy. This was at night and let me tell you, I wasn’t prepared for the cold weather. I had thought that Doha would have the same weather as Dubai but, I guess I was wrong. I tried layering myself with a bunch of clothes yet, I was still freezing. Besides the constant complaining about the cold weather, my friends and I danced along to some Arabic music, ate some good food, and had a GREAT time attending Cultural Night. The time, the days, it all went by so fast.

Day 5 (Saturday)- The day we had to go back to Dubai. It was depressing. We felt lifeless. We had to drag our bodies to the airport and sit there and wait for the plane to arrive. We got on the plane, and as we left, we had to say goodbye to Qatar. “Bye bye”, I whispered. “Hope to see you soon!”. 

Even now, my mind keeps shouting out words like, second, point of personal privilege, present and voting, objection etc.. 

 

UN websites that delegates need to know about

Most MUN delegates are deep into country and issue research. If you are looking for a few new sources of information, try checking these out!

Human Development Reports  Compliments of the UN Development Program (UNDP)

HD_reportThere is nothing a delegate can debate that can’t find some kind of statistical mention in the UNDP’s annual Human Development Report. This is an amazing compilation  of statistics, everything from internet access per 10,000 people to literacy and infant mortality rates, to number of elected women in government, to the caloric intake of children. It goes on and on and on.  UNDP ranks countries on their development index, but if that is too complicated to figure out, then the charts and charts of raw statistical data make up for it. So if you want to sound smart in committee by , for example, stating the percentage of people in your country living on degraded land and how that compares to other countries in the world, the Human Development Report is where you need to look. Hands down, this is one of the best resources out there for country-specific research and statistical data to back up your positions.

2015 Report: Coming December 14

2014 Report

United Nations Foundation’s UN Wire  Feed your research needs with a steady stream of UN News

UN_WIreThe United Nations Foundation is a public charity that was founded in order to held distribute Ted Turner’s historic one billion dollar donation to the work of the UN. The Foundation supports a myriad of programs, many of which will be familiar to MUN delegates. Of great value is the UN Wire, a daily wire feed of UN news. Getting this delivered to your in box and scimming through the titles of articles is a good way to keep very up to date on the Foundation’s and the UN’s work.

Politically Speaking  Online Publication for the United Nations Department of Public Affairs

WheUNDPA_TUmblr_shotn you subscribe to this newsletter, you will receive periodic email publications with recent news happening in and around the UN Secretariat. You can sign up here! What’s even more awesome is that they have a Tumblr account, a really painless way to get lots of UN news delivered to you via social media.

 

 

 

UN Web TV  Short (and not so short) recordings of all sorts of UN happenings.

UN_TVWhen you listen to some of the meetings, you’ll swear you are sitting in an MUN committee. It’s fun to check out what a real GA committee looks and sounds like. With careful searching you might find a nugget of gold, your assigned country’s rep in some video recorded debate or statement. You can search by topic, or by most popular. Is it any surprise that Psy’s meeting with Ban Ki Moon is the site’s most popular video? Check out minute 6:50.

Have a great website to share?  Email Lisa at lmartin@qf.org.qa and we’ll be sure to share it.