posted February 25, 2009

Hope Students Participate in Model Arab League

 A team of four Hope College students participated in the Michigan University Model Arab League Conference that was held on Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 19-21, at Grand Valley State University, with one member of the group earning Outstanding Delegate/Honorable Mention Award recognition.

Sophomore Aftan Snyder of Bigfork, Mont., received the Outstanding Delegate/Honorable Mention Award for her work on the Council on Palestinian Affairs.  The award honors a student who exhibited the highest degree of excellence in preparation, debate, caucusing, representation, teamwork, diplomatic leadership, and overall positive contribution to the work of her council.

The other students who represented the college at the conference were: senior Femi Alabi of Jos, Nigeria, the Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministries; sophomore Stephen Pedersen of Vernon Hills, Ill., the Joint Defense Council; and sophomore Lacie Rawlings of Ludington, the Council of Political Affairs. Hope College's country assignment for this year's conference was Syria.

The faculty advisor for Hope's Model Arab League team is Habeeb Awad of the Office of International Education.  Students may receive credit for their participation by registering for the Model Arab League course offered by the department of history.

Michigan is of several states that sponsor a state-wide, university-level model, held annually in late February.  Model Arab League is a student leadership development program administered by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Participants learn about the politics and history of the Arab world and the arts of diplomacy and public speaking. It is also a gateway to exchange programs in the Arabic world.

The other Michigan schools participating are Adrian College, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon Community College, Regis College, Spring Arbor University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.