More than 225 students, representing over a dozen high schools in central Arkansas, are expected to attend the Model Arab League at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25.
The Model Arab League is a diplomatic simulation and leadership development program designed to help students learn about the politics and history of the Middle East. The league, established by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, focuses on the 22 countries that make up the League of Arab States.
UA Little Rock’s event is supported by the Middle Eastern Studies Program and is run by the students in Dr. Rebecca Glazier’s upper-division Model Arab League course. The students running the conference will also participate in a National Model Arab League conference in Washington, D.C. in March.
The two-day event will be held in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the UA Little Rock Fine Arts building. The 9 a.m. opening ceremony on Feb. 24 will include remarks from various UA Little Rock faculty and staff along with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Denawy Hassanein of the Little Rock Islamic Center.
During the event, high school students will serve as delegates on committees working to reach agreements and write resolutions on contentious issues in the Arab World from refugees to water scarcity to cultural preservation. UA Little Rock students will fill the roles of officers, such as secretary general and parliamentarian, while also serving as committee chairs and award organizers. The closing ceremony will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 and feature three student speakers who participated in the International Model Arab League in Rabat, Morocco, in November 2016.
Following the speakers, High School Model Arab League Secretary-General Brian Gregory will conduct the closing session. The ceremony will conclude with awards given for accomplishments during the event such as best paper by committee and best delegate by committee.