posted February 26, 2001

Model Arab League Honors

Hope College students won a variety of
honors during the Michigan Model League of Arab States, held
on Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 21-23, at Grand Valley State
University.

The Hope students portraying Jordan tied for "Best
Delegation." In addition, several Hope students 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.

The students from Hope represented Jordan and
Morocco. In addition, senior Whitney Schraw of Boyne City
served as secretary general for the 2001 Michigan Model Arab
League.

Representing Jordan were: freshman Molly Baxter
of Kennewick, Wash.; sophomore James Plasman of Downers
Grove, Ill.; senior Minerva Perez of Bronx, N.Y.; senior
Jacob Sitati of Nairobi, Kenya, who chaired the Economic
Affairs Committee; and junior Kristy Truax of Wilmington,
Del.

Representing Morocco were: freshman Seth Brugger
of Grand Haven; sophomore Brandon Guernsey of Sheridan;
junior Erin Hubbard of Belmont; junior Leecox Omollo of
Nairobi, Kenya, who was assistant chair of the Palestinian
Affairs Committee; and sophomore Rachel Romsaas of
Minneapolis, Minn.

Sitati won an "Outstanding Chair" award for his
work on the Economic Affairs Committee. Plasman won an
"Outstanding Delegate" award for his work on the Political
Affairs Committee, and was also elected assistant secretary
general for next year's Michigan Model Arab League. Truax
won an "Outstanding Delegate" award for her work on the
Palestinian Affairs Committee. Baxter and Perez won
honorable mention for their work as delegates on the Social
Affairs and Security Affairs committees respectively.

The Hope student delegation prepared for seven
weeks prior to the model. The students researched Jordan
and Morocco, reviewed the current political situation in all
of the countries of the Arab League and practiced
parliamentary procedure. The Hope students have the option
of earning one credit hour for their participation. Their
advisor was Dr. Janis Gibbs, assistant professor of history.

The Michigan Model League of Arab States is
sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations,
the League of Arab States Information Center and Grand
Valley State University.

In addition to Hope, schools participating in the
event included Aquinas College, Calvin College, Grand Valley
State University, Kalamazoo College, Spring Arbor College,
the University of Michigan at Dearborn and Western Michigan
University. A group from Aquinas College portraying Libya
shared "Best Delegation" honors with Hope, while a
delegation from Grand Valley State University portraying
Egypt received honorable mention recognition.