Hope College students won a variety of honors during the Michigan Model League of Arab States, held on Wednesday-Friday, March 1-3, at Grand Valley State University.
The students portraying Syria tied for "Best
Delegation" with a group from Aquinas College portraying
Libya. Several Hope students also received individual
honors and were elected to leadership positions for this
year's and next year's event.
The purpose of the model is to introduce students
to the Arab world, to highlight the important issues in the
region, and to generate understanding about the patterns of
cooperation and conflict within the Arab world and with the
Students role-play members of the Arab League
during the model, working on one of five committees:
economic affairs, Palestinian affairs, political affairs,
security affairs and social/cultural affairs. Each
delegation wrote position papers outlining its nation's
stand on the various issues being discussed and wrote
resolutions that were presented to the committees for
discussion and voting.
The students from Hope represented Egypt and
Syria. In addition, senior James Sitati of Nairobi, Kenya,
served as assistant secretary general for the Michigan Model
Representing Egypt were: Bassam Atallah, a senior
from Larnaca, Cyprus; Les Jared, a junior from Grand Rapids;
Leecox Omollo, a sophomore from Nairobi, Kenya; and A.
Gregoor Passchier, a sophomore from Waddinxveen, The
Representing Syria were: Radoslav Iliev, a junior
from Sofia, Bulgaria; Bradley Jerdon, a sophomore from
Niles; Whitney Schraw, a junior from Boyne City; and Kristy
Truax, a sophomore from Wilmington, Del.
Schraw won an "Outstanding Delegate" award for her
work on the Palestinian Affairs Committee, of which she was
vice-chair. She was also elected secretary general for next
year's Michigan Model Arab League.
Iliev and Jared won honorable mentions for their
work on the Political Affairs Committee. Atallah won
honorable mention for his work on the Social Affairs
The Hope student delegation prepared for seven
weeks prior to the model. The students researched Egypt and
Syria, reviewed the current political situation in all of
the countries of the Arab League and practiced Robert's
Rules of Order. The Hope students have the option of
earning one credit hour for their participation. Their
advisor was Dr. G.L. Penrose, professor of history, assisted
by Dr. Janis Gibbs, assistant professor of history.
The Michigan Model League of Arab States is
sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and
Grand Valley State University, with the assistance of the
League of Arab States and the Michigan Council on U.S.-Arab
Relations. Dr. Khalid Abdalla, the Chief Representative of
the League of Arab States in the United States, spoke at the
model league's opening session.
In addition to Hope and Aquinas, schools
participating in the event included Grand Valley State
University, Kalamazoo College, Spring Arbor College and the
University of Michigan at Dearborn.