COMMERCE, TX— In partnership with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Texas A&M University-Commerce political science department will host the 2017 Southwest Regional University Model Arab League (MAL) conference, April 6-8 in the Rayburn Student Center on the A&M-Commerce campus.
The program provides students the opportunity to engage in a simulation of the League of Arab States, requiring the various delegations to study regional and global issues and interact with one another as representatives of individual countries. There will be 22 universities participating, each representing a different country. A&M-Commerce will represent both Egypt and Yemen.
“The MAL provides students an opportunity to learn about the Arab league and its 22 members,” said Interim-Professor of Political Science, Dr. David Oualaalou. “Students also learn about pressing international and regional issues, the protocol and procedures of diplomacy, and the rules of debate.”
Dr. Oualaalou, project leader, is a global affairs analyst, blogger, author and professor. A former international security analyst in Washington D.C., his analyses on global affairs have appeared in many domestic and global newspapers in addition to online journals. Along with his family’s ability to speak six languages, he speaks French and Arabic fluently with the ability to teach and give conference presentations in those languages. He also has acquired moderate ability in reading and speaking Spanish and Dari (spoken in Afghanistan).
Dr. William Mitchell, will serve as a keynote speaker at the event. Dr. Mitchell is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science Department, at Baylor University. He also served as American Air Base Commander in the Middle East for 12 years.
Established in 1983, the Model Arab League (MAL) is the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations<http://ncusar.org/>’ flagship student leadership development program. There are more than 2,000 students that annually participate in the National Council’s many annual Model Arab Leagues held in cities throughout the United States<http://ncusar.org/modelarableague/conferences/select/>.
The Arab League is the world’s oldest regional political organization dedicated to, among other things, the diplomatic and peaceful settlement of disputes.
MAL provides primarily American but also Arab and other international students with opportunities to develop invaluable leadership skills. There is no comparable opportunity allowing emerging leaders to learn firsthand what it is like to put themselves in the shoes of real-life Arab diplomats and other foreign affairs practitioners. In the process, students come to realize how different these realities of international relations are in comparison to what they previously thought and assumed to be true.
MAL helps prepare students to be knowledgeable, well-trained, and effective citizens as well as civic and public affairs activists. The skill sets acquired and practiced in the course of the models are designed to serve the participants well regardless of the career or profession they elect to pursue.