For the 10th year in a row, Hope College students have won "Best Delegation" honors during the Midwest Model League of Arab States, held this year on  Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 26-28, at Grand Valley State University.

          The 11 participating Hope students portrayed two
  delegations during the event:  Algeria and Iraq.  The group
  portraying Algeria won "Best Delegation" honors, and six of
  the students received individual honors.  The awards were
  presented by Dr. Barbara Roos, who is director of the
  Michigan Committee on U.S.-Arab Relations as well as a
  member of the faculty at Grand Valley State University.
          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.
          Some of the issues discussed were "A Role for
  Europe and the UN in the Middle East Peace Process,"
  "Reintegration of Iraq into the Arab Fold," "The Arab
  Family:  A Model for the West," "International Campaign to
  Curb Extremism in All Its Forms" and "Palestinians:
  Approaching a 50-Year Diaspora."
          Representing Algeria were:  Palesa Mazamisa, a
  junior from South Africa (social affairs); Aurora O'Brate, a
  senior from Spain (co-head delegate for Algeria, and
  Palestinian affairs); Jacob Sitati, a freshman from Kenya
  (economic affairs); James Sitati, a sophomore from Kenya
  (co-head delegate for Algeria, and security affairs); and
  Mlungisi Sisulu, a senior from Kenya (political affairs).
          Representing Iraq were:  Nasser Al-Faqih, a senior
  from Palestine (economic affairs); Noah Dale, a junior from
  Montpelier, Vt. (chair of political affairs); Matthew
  Kuiper, a senior from Lansing (head delegate for Iraq, and
  chair of Palestinian affairs); Carrie Tennant, a senior from
  Pinckney (security affairs); Eric Vogel, a junior from
  Orange City, Iowa (social affairs); and Ghadeer Yaser, a
  freshman from Palestine (political affairs).
          Dale was chosen as the event's "Outstanding
  Committee Chair," and Kuiper received an honorable mention
  for his work as a committee chair.  The other Hope students
  who won individual awards, from the committees on which they
  served for being outstanding delegates, were:  Al-Faqih,
  Mazamisa, and Jacob and James Sitati.
          In addition, Al-Faqih was elected secretary-
  general for the 1999 Michigan Model Arab League, and O'Brate
  was elected assistant secretary-general for 1999.
          The Hope delegation prepared for eight weeks prior
  to the model.  They researched Algeria and Iraq, 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. Janis Gibbs, who
  is an assistant professor of history at Hope.
          The Midwest Model League of Arab States is
  sponsored by Grand Valley State University, the National
  Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Michigan Committee on
  U.S.-Arab Relations, the League of Arab States Information
  Center and the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce.  This was the
  11th year for the event, which was first held in 1988.
          In addition to Hope, schools participating in the
  event included Aquinas College, Calvin College, Grand Valley
  State University, Kalamazoo College, Spring Arbor College
  and the University of Michigan at Dearborn.