How to Get Involved in Model Arab League
1. GATHER DELEGATES
Finding Interested Students
Anyone interested in learning about the history, culture, religion, economics, or politics of the Middle East should be considered a candidate for your team. Successful competitors are not exclusively found in political science or history programs. The program gladly welcome students from all backgrounds and experience levels, and there is great strength in having a rich diversity of participants. There are some great tips for building and expanding your team membership below!
Size and Organization
Model Arab League is a team activity. At most Model Arab League conferences a minimum of 5 students are needed to represent a country.
Many of the team that currently participate in the Model Arab League Program are organized and led by a faculty advisor, but in numerous cases students have also organized and run successful Model Arab League teams. Most delegations have both a faculty advisor and a student executive who is either appointed by the advisor or elected by the delegates. Teams often have members fulfill other officer positions as well, such as treasurer or secretary.
Depending on the policies of educational institutions, methods of acquiring funding, number of interested students, and other factors, the ways in which different MAL delegations are organized and operated can greatly differ. For example, one advisor might structure their delegation as a credited class with a set curriculum while another team may find it more practical to establish an extracurricular student organization. There are no regulations on how teams should be organized – contact the National Council for tips on how to get started.
2. REGISTER & SELECT A COUNTRY
Registering for a MAL Conference
Registering for Model Arab League is done online through the Model Arab League website. A staff member at the National Council will contact you shortly after your registration has been received. Specific details about upcoming conferences, including dates and locations, are available on the Model Arab League Conferences webpage.
Requesting a Country to Represent
Part of your registration will include submitting your team’s preferences for which of the 22 Arab League member nations you wish to represent. Delegations can request a country assignment for any conference up to a year in advance. Final country assignments are made by the National Council.
Most conferences require participants to pay nominal registration fees. These fees are typically transferred to the local host institution to offset costs associated with the conference. Beginning in January 2015, flat fees will be assessed on a per-delegate basis: $25/delegate at all high school conferences and $45/delegate at regional university conferences. The National University MAL conference has a separate price structure.
3. RESEARCH THE COUNTRY & PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
Research Assigned Country & Topics
Teams should assign their members to each of the Councils to be held at their chosen conference, ensuring that their country is represented on each of the Councils by at least one delegates, and at most two delegates. Larger teams may request additional country assignments.
The specific issues covered at each MAL conference can be found in the MAL Agenda. Delegates should research their country’s policies on the topics to be discussed in their assigned Council. There are student-produced Background Guides available for each Council. The MAL website also has both general and country-specific research resources available, including annotated bibliographies for each Arab League member country with suggested academic sources for exploration.
MAL conferences proceed according to rules of parliamentary procedure detailed in the MAL Handbook. It might be helpful for delegations to run mock Council sessions in order to familiarize the student delegates with these procedures. Resources for learning about parliamentary procedures are available on the MAL website.
4. ATTEND A MODEL ARAB LEAGUE!
Each conference is slightly different but generally MAL conferences begin with a Plenary Session where all attending delegates convene for opening ceremonies. Council sessions follow and constitute the majority of the conference. In Council sessions, delegates draft, debate, and vote on resolutions reflecting their countries’ positions. The resolutions that pass through the Councils are presented at a Summit Session, a final meeting of all the delegates where resolutions either pass or fail a final review. Awards are given at the conclusion of the Summit Session to outstanding individuals and outstanding delegations.
How to Build Your Team’s Membership
*Tips inspired by and adapted from Best Delegates’ article How to Build a Top Travel Team: 5 Strategies to Recruit Top Talent*
1. Preach the Benefits:
Prospective team members should feel compelled to join your delegation, so give them something to be excited about! Don’t just stress the academic benefits of Model Arab League, which are many on their own—demonstrate that it’s a fun activity too. If you need a springboard, visit our FAQ page.
2. Determine a Goal to Reach:
Establishing a goal for your delegation makes your vision more concrete. Here are a few to explore:
- Do you want to log a certain number of practice hours per semester?
- How many new members are you looking to join?
- Is there a specific conference to which you want to travel?
- Do you want to obtain course credit for Model Arab League from your school’s administration?
- Do you want to find a faculty adviser to mentor and support your delegation?
3. Recruit Via Recommendation:
Singling out recruits on an individual basis may better convince students to join. If applicable, compile a list of professors’ or friends’ top recommendations and send out invitations to a club meeting. Letting these individuals know that they came highly recommended to the team is a very flattering tactic, and one that may boost numbers for your team.
4. Make Room for Diversity:
Students from all sorts of majors, programs, and experience levels can make incredible Model Arab League delegates. Just because someone hasn’t been exposed to debating or public speaking doesn’t mean s/he can’t make for an successful delegate.
5. Understand the Impact of Creating a Team:
By forming a MAL delegation not only are you gaining a new academic skill, but you also have the chance to:
- Make new friends
- Travel around the country
- Better yourself and challenge yourself
- Gain a unique insight into the minds of people from another culture while exploring the history and politics of the Middle East
- Network with peers who have similar interests
- Add a meaningful and widely recognized item to your resume
- PLUS: participants gain access to special programs with the National Council, such as expense-paid study visits to the region and special internship opportunities