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.

The Legacy of King Abdulaziz and The Ramifications for Saudi Arabia Today

On March 23, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program, “The Legacy of King Abdulaziz and The Ramifications for Saudi Arabia Today,” examining the dynamics of state formation in Saudi Arabia with two historians of the Kingdom.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialists:

  • Dr. Joseph Kéchichian, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Senior Research Fellow; Author, inter alia, of The Arab Nationalist Advisor: Shaykh Yusuf Yassin of Sa’udi Arabia (forthcoming) and From Alliance to Union: Challenges Facing Gulf Cooperation Council States in the Twenty-First Century (2016).
  • Dr. Joshua Yaphe, U.S. Department of State Arabian Peninsula Analyst; Author of Saudi Arabia and Iraq as Friends and Enemies (2022); Former National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Scholar-in-Residence.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“The Legacy of King Abdulaziz and The Ramifications for Saudi Arabia Today” podcast (.mp3)

Destination Oman: Heritage, Culture, Adventure

On March 17, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program “Destination Oman: Heritage, Culture, Adventure”—a virtual visit to the Sultanate of Oman, the “Jewel of Arabia.”

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Historical and Cultural Dictionary of The Sultanate of Oman and The Emirates of Eastern Arabia and Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Opening Remarks:

  • H.E. Moosa Hamdan Al Tai, Sultanate of Oman Ambassador to the United States.

Featured Specialists:

  • Professor Linda Pappas Funsch, Author of Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization; Former Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center Research Fellow; National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Malone Fellow and International Advisory Board Member.
  • Mr. Badar Al Yazeedi, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Cultural Affairs Fellow; Panorama Travels CEO; Oman Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee Member; Oman Tourism Awards Jury Member.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Destination Oman: Heritage, Culture, Adventure” podcast (.mp3)

Can Lebanon Be Saved?

On March 10, 2022, the National Council convened an online program, “Can Lebanon Be Saved?”, exploring a recent policy brief from the American Task Force on Lebanon and the Middle East Institute, Helping the Lebanese People Move Toward Recovery: Recommendations for U.S. Policy.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Welcome:

  • Mr. Patrick Mancino, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Executive Vice President and Director of Development.

Featured Specialists:

  • Ambassador (Ret.) Edward Gabriel, American Task Force on Lebanon President and CEO; Former United States Ambassador to Morocco (1997-2001).
  • Ms. Mona Yacoubian, United States Institute of Peace Senior Advisor for Syria, the Middle East, and North Africa; Former United States Agency for International Development Middle East Bureau Deputy Assistant Administrator.

Moderator:

  • Mr. Jean AbiNader, American Task Force on Lebanon Vice President for Policy; International Programs and Communications Specialist.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Can Lebanon Be Saved?” podcast (.mp3)

An Emerging Axis: Strategic Trends Between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China

On February 24, 2022, the National Council convened an online program exploring “An Emerging Axis: Strategic Trends Between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, and What it Means for the Middle East.”

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO.

Featured Specialists:

  • Mr. David H. Rundell, Author of Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads, Former United States Diplomat, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Michael Gfoeller, Former United States Diplomat, and Consultant on Foreign Affairs and International Security.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“An Emerging Axis: Strategic Trends Between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, and What it Means for the Middle East” podcast (.mp3)

Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations: Policy Implications for Success or Failure

On February 9, 2022, the National Council convened an online program exploring “Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations: Policy Implications for Success or Failure.”

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO.

Featured Specialists:

  • Dr. Mohammed S. Alsulami, Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies Founder and President.
  • Mr. Norman Roule, Former United States National Intelligence Manager for Iran; United Against a Nuclear Iran Senior Advisor.

Discussant:

  • Mr. David Des Roches, U.S. Department of Defense National Defense University Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies Associate Professor; National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Senior International Affairs Fellow.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations: Policy Implications for Success or Failure” podcast (.mp3)

Surveying Geo-Political Dynamics in Arab North Africa: What Implications for the United States and the Region?

On January 27, 2022, the National Council convened an online program “Surveying Geo-Political Dynamics in Arab North Africa: What Implications for the United States and the Region?”

 

 

Joining the program were:

Featured Specialist:

  • Dr. William Lawrence, American University School of International Service Professor and C&O Resources Senior Advisor; Analyst, Educator, International Programs Director, and Former Diplomat.

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Surveying Geo-Political Dynamics in Arab North Africa: What Implications for the United States and the Region?” podcast (.mp3)

The Messy, Volatile, and Unpredictable Energy Transition to Come, and the Middle East North Africa Region

On January 12, 2022, the National Council convened an online program exploring “The Messy, Volatile, and Unpredictable Energy Transition to Come, and the Middle East North Africa Region.”

 

 

Joining the program were:

Featured Specialist:

  • Dr. Paul Sullivan, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Distinguished International Affairs Fellow; King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies Senior Research Associate; Johns Hopkins University Adjunct Professor for Energy and Environmental Security.

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“The Messy, Volatile, and Unpredictable Energy Transition to Come, and the Middle East North Africa Region” podcast (.mp3)