For the 11th 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. 25-27, at Grand Valley State University.

          The eight participating Hope students portrayed
  two delegations during the event:  Lebanon and Yemen.  The
  group portraying Lebanon won "Best Delegation" honors, with
  the group portraying Yemen receiving "Honorable Mention."
  Several 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
  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 the needs of
  refugees, the problem of water scarcity in the Middle East
  and access to health care.
          Representing Lebanon were:  Minerva Perez, a
  sophomore from the Bronx, N.Y.; Jacob Sitati, a sophomore
  from Kenya; James Sitati, a junior from Kenya (head
  delegate); and Ghadeer Yaser, a sophomore from Palestine.
          Representing Yemen were:  Noah Dale, a senior from
  Montpelier, Vt.; Jeremy Heavilin, a senior from Fennville;
  Joseph Lenkart, a junior from St. Joseph, Ill.; and Whitney
  Schraw, a sophomore from Boyne City (head delegate).
          James Sitati was chosen the event's "Best
  Committee Chair" for his work with the security affairs
  committee, with Dale receiving "Honorable Mention" as chair
  of the Palestinian affairs committee.  In addition, Jacob
  Sitati and Schraw received "Honorable Mention, Best
  Delegate" recognition, for their work on the Palestinian
  affairs and social affairs committees respectively.
          Yaser chaired the event's Social Affairs
  Committee.  James Sitati was elected assistant secretary
  general for next year's Model Arab League.
          In addition, two Hope alumni served as secretary
  general and assistant secretary general this year.  Nasser
  Al-Faqih was secretary general, and Aurora O'Brate was
  assistant secretary general.  Both are members of the Class
  of 1998.
          The Hope student delegation prepared for seven
  weeks prior to the model.  The students researched Lebanon
  and Yemen, 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
  12th 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.