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Students Earn Honorable Mention
During Model Arab League

Posted February 24, 2004

HOLLAND – Two Hope students received Honorable Mention Delegate awards for representing the Iraqi Governing Council at the Model Arab League, held at Grand Valley State University on Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 18-20.

Divya Ganta, who was on the "Joint Defense Council," had a joint resolution passed in the committee session. Christa Wiggam, who was on the "Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers," had three resolutions passed in the final committee session and adopted by the Summit Session. Ganta is a junior from Muscat, Oman, and Wiggam is a senior from Estes Park, Colo.

In portraying representatives of the member states of the Arab League, participating students attempt to solve problems and achieve consensus on questions faced by diplomats on a daily basis. The Model Arab League was sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR), based in Washington, D.C.

This year, in conjunction with the college’s department of history and office of international education, a delegation of five Hope students portrayed Iraq before the league, representing “the views of the Iraqi Governing Council, not the former Saddam Hussein government, not the United States and not some hypothetical idea of what Iraq should be doing.”

In addition to Ganta and Wiggam, the participating Hope students were: sophomore Kathleen Ludewig of Syracuse, N.Y.; sophomore Nixon Omollo of Nairobi, Kenya; and senior Chris Sterling of Montego Bay, Jamaica.

A total of six colleges and universities participated in the event, representing nations including Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen as well as Iraq. In addition to Hope, the participating schools were: Aquinas College, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon Community College, Spring Arbor College, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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