Muscat: Serious issues like piracy and children's security were the topics of debate for 100 students who took on the roles of United Nations ambassadors last weekend at The American International School of Muscat (TAISM).
The annual Model United Nations (MUN) event brought together high school students from different schools around Muscat to come up with resolutions on three different topics, which
each student representing a different country.
The subjects up for debate, which were chosen by the three senior students from TAISM, were piracy, the regulation of the media and its role in security, and the reintegration and rehabilitation of children in conflict situations. "We tried to vary it and find topics that are easy to research and debate," said Nedjma Abalou, one of the chairs.
TAISM senior student Daniel Jackson, who represented Seychelles and took on the role of the Chair for part of the sessions, has been involved in MUN for three years. He said it's a wonderful way to learn more about different countries and look at world issues through their eyes.
"Every year we do different issues and every year I'm a different country, so there's always new things to learn," said Jackson. Shreyas Kane D'Mello, an 11th form student from Indian School Ghubrah, said the MUN event is a great way to learn about different cultures and involve youth in world affairs and decision-making.
This year he represented Syria, a country that faced a lot of heat in the debates about media and children's rehabilitation in conflict situations. "I have no problem with it. It's fun to be a country that's being attacked. You have to form alliances with similar countries," D'Mello said.
For some participants, MUN offers an opportunity to develop self-confidence while learning about different countries' policies and perspectives on international affairs. "I wanted to work on public speaking and critical thinking," explained Niya Abdulkadir, a grade 11 student at TAISM who was the ambassador for Uruguay.
MUN has also given some of the students the opportunities to attend international events. TAISM students will be attending MUN conferences in Russia and Qatar this year, while students from ISG will go to the USA and India.