Four students representing Centenary College in Shreveport at the 2021 Bilateral Regional Model Arab League competition earned top honors March 6-7.
The students, serving as delegates from Kuwait as the event online, were named the Outstanding Delegation for the conference and each team member was recognized individually as a Distinguished Delegate.
Senior political science and theater major Kennedy Wilcher, a native of Clinton, was named a Distinguished Delegate for the Environmental Affairs Council. Senior history and political science major Maria Zabaneh, of Shreveport, was named a Distinguished Delegate for her work on the Political Affairs Council. L.A. Easley, a junior from Texarkana, Arkansas, majoring in communications and political science, worked on the Social Affairs Council and was also named a Distinguished Delegate. Taha Hayat, a junior political science major from Shreveport, earned the Distinguished Delegate distinction for his work on the Special Council on Technology and Cybersecurity.
“Students participating in Model Arab League begin with their classroom-based knowledge, but significantly expand on it through individual and team-based research,” said Chad Fulwider, associate professor of history at Centenary and adviser for the Model Arab League.
“Students select a country to represent as a team and research information that pertains to their respective council," he said "In the council sessions, they must be able to think on their feet and respond to challenges with grace and respect, but also wit, as they negotiate and build alliances to achieve their goals. This year’s virtual conference presented new challenges, but the team was still able to participate as a group by meeting in the library classrooms and attended the closing session as a team, masked and socially distanced. No other delegation was able to do that.”
The Centenary team, the only one from Louisiana, competed against seven institutions from Texas and Arkansas.
The Model Arab League was established in 1983 by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as an opportunity for primarily American, but also Arab and other international students, to put themselves in the shoes of real-life Arab diplomats and foreign affairs professionals.
MAL participants are judged on their ability to represent the needs, concerns, interests and foreign policy objectives of their assigned country.