LAU MUN’s Delegates Suffer Socially and Academically While Working to Become World Leaders

By Sanaa Eter March 6,2017

The high school students of the 12th Lebanese American University Model United Nations work hard for the final conferences on 4th and 5th of March 2017 missing social events and shortening in school grades, to achieve their mission: become future world leaders.

High school students at their break time, Sunday March 5, 2017

“I worked really hard for it. I even failed and postponed some of my school exams knowing that I am in 12th grade and I have official exams this year,” said Hadi Noun, 17, a delegate in the 12th MUN representing Croatia.

Hadi Noun, MUN delegate representing Croatia

Noun, a student in the International School of Choueifat, described his MUN experience as the hard-yet-enjoyable one. He went on sleepless days working for the “position paper.” “I hope for the best, I am really proud of my position paper, but I expect the worst,” Noun said. “My committee, the UNEP, has a huge number of delegates, it is difficult to dominate and be noticed even after all the work I’ve done.”

delegates in class ENG404, LAU Byblos

According to the LAU website, the Global Classroom (GC) MUN Program’s main purpose is bringing the UN cultures awareness by allowing students to step in the shoes of ambassadors by tackling current international issues and conflicts.

Norma Malaeb, a Diplomacy Award winner, representing Syria.

A Diplomacy Award winner, Norma Malaeb, worked for the MUN since it is more important to her than school duties.

Malaeb, celebrating the end of the conference with her school mates and advisors.

“The hardest part was finding the correct data for the position paper especially that the country I was in-charge of is Syria, and there was too many information to read,” said Malaeb, 16, a student in Baysour Secondary Official School.

Studies show that students tend to put more effort when pressured, which alerts them to stay motivated, and its proven in their grades, according to Maryellen Weiner in her article “Motivating Students: Should Effort Count?”

Students checking up on eachothers’ performances after the conference has ended.

Students in the MUN are pressured by being obliged to work as world leaders and feel the burden. Yet, the Assistant Under Secretary General for Logistics and Operations of the MUN, Anthony Maalouf said: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

“The main goal of leadership is to produce leaders not followers,” said the Under Secretary-General for Public Relations of MUN, Carl Sadaka.

The GC LAU MUN website on LinkedIn explains that countries’ delegates from all over Lebanon carrying various nationalities are taught in this program multiple communication skills and intellectual methods for leadership and conflict resolution.

Ali Abou Merhi (left) celebrating his MUN journey with his friend (right)

A student who was responsible for Liberia in the UNIDO committee, ENG401 classroom, Ali Abou Merhi, had “poverty reduction” as a topic for the final conferences that put him under stress to an extent he was working for the MUN at home and school.

“My Arabic teacher made me fail the class because she caught me several times working on my MUN research during her class,” said Abou Merhi, 11th-grade, student in Hussein Massoud School. “Hardships to me, other than the research task, were bearing to skip friends’ gatherings, birthday parties, and the sleep over, the weekend rituals, at my cousin’s house.”

Note: All photos taken by Sanaa Eter.


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