Pictured is Hope’s delegation, representing Oman, during the Model Arab League held on Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 13-15, at Grand Valley State University. From left to right are: Front Row, Kelsey Herbert, Hayley Schultz, Susan Haigh; Second Row, Ian Bussan, Ben Foss, Habeeb Awad (advisor).

Hope College sophomore Hayley Schultz of Lancaster, Pa., was named an “outstanding delegate” during the regional Model Arab League competition held on Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 13-15, at Grand Valley State University.

Schultz was part of a team of five students from Hope representing the views of Oman’s Governing Council and the policy objectives of Oman during the Model Arab League (MAL).  They debated against delegates from 10 other colleges and universities in five councils:  Environmental Affairs, Joint Defense, Political Affairs, Social Affairs and Palestinian Affairs.

In addition to Schultz, the Hope delegation consisted of Ian Bussan, a sophomore from Niles; Ben Foss, a senior from Northfield, Minn.; Susan Haigh, a senior from Carmel, Ind.; and Kelsey Herbert, a senior from Avon, Conn.

MAL is dedicated to expanding students’ knowledge and understanding of the culture, history and politics of the Middle East. The competition was sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) based in Washington, D.C.

The Hope students participated under the auspices of the college’s Department of History.  By participating in Hope’s MAL class, students learn about the Arab world’s political priorities and sharpen their skills in diplomacy and public speech.  Their academic advisor and instructor was Habeeb Awad, who is international student advisor at Hope.

Bussan, a history major, participated on the Arab Social Affairs council. Foss, a political science and international studies major, was on Joint Defense.  Haigh, an international studies composite and French major, was on Political Affairs.  Herbert, an international studies composite and Spanish major, was on the Palestinian Affairs Council. Schultz, who plans to pursue a composite major in peace studies, was on the Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers.

The countries represented during the event were Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Iraq.  In addition to Hope College, the participating schools were Aquinas College, Adrian College, Saginaw Valley State University, Eastern Michigan University, DePaul University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Spring Arbor University, and Northwestern University.