On Sunday Janurary 10, The University of Haifa hosted the National Model United Nations Conference for its fifth year in Haifa. About 200 students from across the country and from a variety of higher education institutes were in attendance. During the conference, the students discussed a range of international issues, such as refugees, preservation of historical heritage sites that are under threat from terrorist organizations, and security concerns in Yemen.
The model UN society at the University of Haifa, called HaiMUN, is an opportunity that international students may take advantage of at the beginning of the academic year. Students must apply and interview, and if accepted, they join the society for the year with a group of Israeli and international students from the university.
Below are a few words on the conference written by Jennifer Bachman, a graduate student in the Peace and Conflict master’s program, class of 2015-2016.
I have to admit that I was nervous preparing for HAIMUN. Not only had I never participated in a conference before, there was the added pressure of our school being the host – so the expectation for our delegates to do well was high. Add to that the numerous prizes that the Haifa delegation won in the international conference in Hamburg a month before…talk about nerve-wracking!
Making sure that I knew well how to properly represent my country’s stance on the topic – Syrian refugees in Non-EU countries – I prepared for hours upon hours. Once I felt confident that I had the information I would need, I struggled with the opening statement I would make as the representative of France. After many revisions, I was finally sure I had one that would set a good tone for my performance. In fact, it was at that point that I decided that I would win a prize – for my university, for my MUN delegation, and for myself. I decided that no matter what actually happened, I would have a good time.
With that attitude, I donned my suit and pearls and looked forward to the experience. It didn’t disappoint. Debate was rigorous and at times exhausting; opponents were ferocious and frustrating – especially the one from Kuwait (!), but all in all the game was fun. When the day was done and it was time for closing ceremonies, I did indeed win a prize. And had fun. I can’t wait until the next MUN conference!