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Students Win Michigan Model
League of Arab States Honors

Posted February 26, 2001

HOLLAND -- Hope College students won a variety of honors during the Michigan Model League of Arab States, held on Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 21-23, at Grand Valley State University.

The Hope students portraying Jordan tied for "Best Delegation." In addition, several Hope students 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 international community.

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 Jordan and Morocco. In addition, senior Whitney Schraw of Boyne City served as secretary general for the 2001 Michigan Model Arab League.

Representing Jordan were: freshman Molly Baxter of Kennewick, Wash.; sophomore James Plasman of Downers Grove, Ill.; senior Minerva Perez of Bronx, N.Y.; senior Jacob Sitati of Nairobi, Kenya, who chaired the Economic Affairs Committee; and junior Kristy Truax of Wilmington, Del.

Representing Morocco were: freshman Seth Brugger of Grand Haven; sophomore Brandon Guernsey of Sheridan; junior Erin Hubbard of Belmont; junior Leecox Omollo of Nairobi, Kenya, who was assistant chair of the Palestinian Affairs Committee; and sophomore Rachel Romsaas of Minneapolis, Minn.

Sitati won an "Outstanding Chair" award for his work on the Economic Affairs Committee. Plasman won an "Outstanding Delegate" award for his work on the Political Affairs Committee, and was also elected assistant secretary general for next year's Michigan Model Arab League. Truax won an "Outstanding Delegate" award for her work on the Palestinian Affairs Committee. Baxter and Perez won honorable mention for their work as delegates on the Social Affairs and Security Affairs committees respectively.

The Hope student delegation prepared for seven weeks prior to the model. The students researched Jordan and Morocco, reviewed the current political situation in all of the countries of the Arab League and practiced parliamentary procedure. The Hope students have the option of earning one credit hour for their participation. Their advisor was 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, the League of Arab States Information Center and Grand Valley State University.

In addition to Hope, schools participating in the event included Aquinas College, Calvin College, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo College, Spring Arbor College, the University of Michigan at Dearborn and Western Michigan University. A group from Aquinas College portraying Libya shared "Best Delegation" honors with Hope, while a delegation from Grand Valley State University portraying Egypt received honorable mention recognition.

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