2022 National University Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League Conference Held in Washington, D.C.

Last month, the National Council brought together nearly 300 students from more than 20 universities for the 39th National University Model Arab League in Washington, D.C. Meeting at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, only blocks from the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building, these students spent three days role playing as Arab diplomats—taking part in an experiential learning exercise and representing the needs, concerns, interests, and objectives of someone other than themselves.

As part of their participation in the National University Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League, some of the school delegations arrived in Washington a day early so they could visit the embassy of the country they would be representing at the conference. During their embassy visits, students and faculty had the privilege of receiving a briefing by diplomats posted at the missions and had the opportunity to ask questions to deepen their understanding of the countries’ policies and positions. Students and faculty received briefings at the embassies of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, Palestine (the U.S. government closed the Palestinian Mission to the United States in 2018 so the briefing was provided by a specialist on Palestinian issues), and Sudan.

The Model Arab League Youth Leadership Development Program enables students to expand their horizons, and harness and practice empathy as they explore others’ cultures, economies, societies, and systems of governance. The National Council’s flagship student educational initiative encourages emerging American leaders to explore the Arab region, and its opportunities and challenges, while simultaneously developing professional skills that will serve them in whatever path their future takes.