Published February 26, 2004
The 13th annual Model Arab League convened at Marist School on Thursday, Jan. 29 and Friday, Jan. 30. More than 240 students representing 20 schools in the Atlanta area attended the simulated conference of Arab countries to discuss international issues facing these nations.
Each school represents one or more Arab nations, and students conduct diplomatic meetings and debates as leaders and policy makers from their respective delegation. “Marist drew Tunisia and Djibouti this year, both very different corners of the Arab world. Our students were delegates, but they also served as Model staff members,” said Louisa Moffitt, Marist School Model Arab League advisor.
Marist School students’ portrayal of Tunisia and Djibouti garnered awards of Outstanding Delegation, and senior Nathan Madigan of Alpharetta was selected as an Outstanding Delegate.
In addition to the students’ skillful display of diplomacy and international awareness, the conference began with a keynote address by Dr. Dona Stewart of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Georgia State University. “She is also the director of a newly reorganized Middle East Outreach Program that combines the resources of Georgia State University and Emory University to make more of both schools’ resources available to teachers in the metro-area,” Moffitt said.
Not only does Marist School hold the largest Model Arab League gathering, second only to the national model, but the independent Catholic school also piloted the first high school model 13 years ago and has hosted the conference for 13 years. Sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the program was originally implemented at the university level. The success of the Marist School model encouraged the council to expand the program to schools in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
This year’s conference also welcomed members of the Atlanta Arab community and students from the Emory University and Kennesaw State University models. Ongoing Marist School programs such as the Model Arab League are part of a continued education about and commitment to celebration cultural, racial and socioeconomic awareness.