Over the Thanksgiving break, Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Rebecca Glazier, and International Studies, Political Science, and Criminal Justice major Beth Kanopsic traveled to the State of Qatar, an Arab nation in the central Gulf region. They were able to visit as a part of a delegation of university students and professors who received the Qatar Study Visit Exchange and Malone Fellowship.
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in cooperation with the Embassy of Qatar to the United States, led the delegation. Comprised of people from colleges and universities across the United States, the delegation traveled to Doha, the capital of Qatar, from November 28-December 5, 2014, where they met with Qatari government officials, civil society actors, educators and students, businesspeople, journalists, and others. Each of the delegation members has participated in the National Council’s Model Arab League program as a student delegate or faculty adviser. The Model Arab League is a student debate and leadership development program which places students in a position to role-play as diplomats for the weekend and tackle key issues from a new perspective.
“During my time in Qatar, I visited with several organizations and governmental ministries,” said Beth, a senior at UALR. “In talking with different officials I learned a lot about Qatar and its position in the world. I believe that the country’s influence will only continue to grow regionally, as well as internationally. I am looking forward to continuing my studies of the region and witnessing it.”
The fellowship is unlike any other in existence; it gives students and professors first-hand exposure to a nation with outsized influence in the Gulf, the Middle East and Arab World, as well as international energy markets, media, and transportation industries. Aside from the inherent educational and professional benefits for the delegation members, the study visit will bring positive and much-needed dialogue between Americans and Arabs, as it will also serve as a cultural and people-to-people exchange. As a condition of their acceptance, participants will share their experiences in Qatar with their fellow students and home communities through a variety of speaking engagements, events, and published articles.
Dr. Glazier was very pleased with the experience. “The study visit was an amazing opportunity to get to see a part of the world that most Arkansas aren’t familiar with,” she said. “The people were incredibly hospitable and the meetings were enlightening. We were able to meet with the business, political, and educational leaders that are shaping the future of one of the most dynamic countries in the world. The faculty and students who went on the study visit are all eager to return for the 2022 World Cup!”
For more information about the Model Arab League program at UALR, contact Dr. Rebecca Glazier at firstname.lastname@example.org.