Stars of the National Council’s Model Arab League Head to Qatar

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO, and U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee Founder, Board Member, and Secretary Dr. John Duke Anthony, presently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to attend the annual GCC summit, spent the past ten days in Doha, Qatar. He did so as leader of a delegation participating in a cultural study visit sponsored by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The National Council’s Model Arab League delegation takes in a sunset along the corniche in Doha.

The visit was a reward for a delegation of five American faculty advisers and ten U.S. university and armed forces institutions students. The participants were Outstanding Award Winners in the National Council’s Model Arab League Program (MAL), which began in the early 1980s and presently has 38,000 alumni.

The Models are conducted for some 2,500 university and secondary school participants 20 times a year at a nearly equal number of U.S. universities. The Council has also helped to establish Model Arab League Programs conducted yearly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with Bahrain and Oman in the process of establishing their first-ever programs this year and Qatar’s Gulf Studies Program (see below) intending to organize the first-ever MAL devoted exclusively to the six GCC member countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

During their time in Qatar, the delegation members visited and had briefings at the Qatar Foundation, the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Human Rights Committee, Al Jazeera, Katara Cultural Village, the Qatar National Museum, and various branch campuses of blue-ribbon American universities. They also spent an evening with a Qatari family at their farm and sailed on an Arab dhow – a traditional “sundowner” experience, with Doha’s glittering skyline of modernist buildings as the backdrop for photography.

The National Council’s Model Arab League delegation visits the Bin Jelmood House in Doha, which charts the history of the global slave trade, particularly in the Indian Ocean region, and the changes caused by its abolition. It is the first museum to focus on slavery in the Arab world.

Dr. Anthony also helped arrange for the delegation to meet and have briefings with the founding director and head of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Program (GSP), for which Dr. Anthony serves as the only American member of the advisory board. Established and led by Dr. Abdullah Baabood in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences Dean, Dr. Eiman Mustafawi, and University President Dr. Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, the GSP is in the process of becoming the Arab world’s foremost center for Gulf studies. It is also the GCC region’s first accredited university program for Gulf studies to offer Master’s and Ph.D. degrees.

In addition to the benefit of being selected for a Council study visit to such countries as Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, student and faculty participants in the MAL have the opportunity to gain full-time professional international affairs work experience through the Council’s Annual University Student Summer Internship Program in the nation’s capital. The work experiences are administered in association with 22 of the Council’s international affairs sister organizations.

Students gather for a lecture at The George Washington University during the National Council Washington, DC Summer Internship Program’s seminar on Arabia and the Gulf.

The summer interns derive two additional benefits. First, they participate in the National Council’s Summer Model Arab League in association with Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Second, they take part in a ten-week academic seminar at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The program, devoted exclusively to the study of Arabia and the Gulf, is the only one of its kind.

For further information on the National Council’s Model Arab League, its study abroad programs, the summer as well as year-round internship program, and other Council programs, events, and activities, see