July 5, 2023
By Peter Toto,  Global Classrooms DC Program Assistant

The Summer Intern Model Arab League (SIMAL) was a chance for the interns of the National Council of United States Arab Relations (NCUSAR) to experience the rules and parliamentary procedure of the Arab League. For some, it was a chance to show their Model Arab League/United Nations skills; for others, it was an opportunity to gain firsthand experience of these activities. The day would be spent deliberating on the issue of the safety of journalists in Palestine and ultimately passing a resolution on the matter. 

SIMALInProgressTo begin, Sarmat Chowdhury, the chair for this session, asked everyone to go around the room and introduce themselves. We all shared our names, where we were interning, where we were going to school, and a fun fact about ourselves. Going into the event, we were all familiar with the two topics the session would cover: Exploring possible avenues for including national civic organizations in implementing member states' commitments and considering ways to protect journalists from violence and unjust imprisonment in Palestine. Our motion to set the agenda resulted in a discussion of topic two, focusing on journalists in Palestine first, and due to time constraints, this was the only topic covered.

After a few hours of both moderated and unmoderated caucuses, multiple draft resolutions were well underway. Before we knew it, it was time for lunch, and the two women running the conference, Delaney Leslie and Hannah Norton, brought in the catering for the event. The food was buffet-style falafel with several alternatives due to dietary restrictions. Although I did not get a chance to eat it, I heard many say the falafel was delicious. 

SIMALResolutionBlocsOnce we completed our one-hour lunch break, the delegates returned to a combination of moderated and unmoderated caucuses to discuss the working language of our potential resolutions. After much discussion, a resolution was submitted to the chair with around thirteen sponsors to provide protective measures to journalists entering Palestine to cover the current situation. An amendment was swiftly added before the league finally voted on and passed the resolution. 

By then, it was time to vote for who we thought were the best candidates for six Model Arab League awards, three distinguished delegate awards, and three outstanding delegate awards. Along with the chair and staff, we delegates took some time to vote for who we believed was most deserving in the delegation. While Hannah and Delaney left the room to decide who would leave the event with an award, the group again discussed the merits of which topic to cover. Soon, Hannah and Delaney reentered and announced who won the awards for the event. Representing Global Classrooms DC were Rayan Mama and Andrew Rovinsky, who walked away with distinguished delegate and outstanding delegate awards, respectively. 

UNANCAInternswithplacardsThere was some hesitation going into the event from the NCUSAR interns and, as a result, Sarmat and the staff. But as the day went on, many who attended were pleasantly surprised with the delegates’ professionalism, openness, and drive. Only a couple of us had Model UN and Model Arab League experience, but for the most part, everyone participated, learned, and had fun. No matter our previous experience, we all walked away with a better understanding of the Model Arab League Parliamentary procedure and the issues the Arab League faces every day. While we could not get to each topic or everyone’s resolutions, the event was a great success.

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