Text Box: found it hard to believe because of the prevalent myth that women are treated as second-class citizens in the Arab world. Once I observed the social equality of men and women in Kuwait first-hand, I realized how incorrect the myth is.  This is not just something I will remember forever, but also something I plan to relate to my peers and other members of my community."
Amanda’s participation in the Kuwait Studies Program and the Model Arab League has had an impact on her personal and career goals. Kuwait was Amanda’s first experience traveling abroad, and it left her with a growing appetite for further travel and international involvement. "These programs have made me want to travel more,” she said, “I really want to see and experience the world. There are so many issues and cultures to learn about—this has become my main priority and passion."
Last year, Amanda was awarded an honorable mention at the Ohio High School Model for her participation in the Minister's of the Interior Council as a representative and head delegate from Saudi Arabia. In the spring of 2004, Amanda will again participate in the Ohio High School Model Arab League. Upon graduation, Amanda hopes to pursue a degree in international affairs at either George Washington, American, Syracuse, or Kalamazoo University.
Text Box: to learn about their culture and religion. This is simply not true."
As striking is the realization that many of her preconceptions about women in Kuwait were inaccurate: "I had the misconception that all women in Kuwait would be covered in a head scarf and would not have jobs. But I quickly came to realize how diverse the women of Kuwait are. Some cover their head [hijaab], others their entire body, and some choose not to.  It was apparent that the ultimate choice was up to them and was not dictated to them." 
She was also impressed by the level of gender equality in Kuwaiti society. "I also saw women who held high positions and were respected by all their coworkers,” 
Amanda said.  “I have read about this, but previously 
Text Box: This past October, Amanda Kass, a Senior at Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio, was one of ten students selected to participate in the annual Kuwait Studies Program, a ten day study tour of Kuwait hosted by The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in conjunction with Kuwait University.
Amanda is also a student fellow of the Columbus Council on International Affairs, and she commented that her participation in National Council programs has enhanced her contributions   to that organization tremendously: "Both these programs [The Model Arab League and the Kuwait Studies Program] intensified my passion for international issues. They made me look at issues with a global perspective in mind. My world is no longer just Columbus, Ohio, or just America; now I have seen firsthand how America's policies affect other countries." 
Amanda came away from the Kuwait Studies Program with dramatically changed views on the Middle East, Arab culture, and Islam. Despite regional tension due to the Palestinian issue, Amanda, a Reform Jew, feels her religion should not be an issue inhibiting her from traveling to the Arab world. "Very often, when people find I have an interest in Arabs and the Arab world, they are shocked. Since I am Jewish, they automatically assume I dislike Arabs and do not want Text Box: Kuwait Studies Program Alumna:
Amanda Kass, Upper Arlington High School
Text Box: Checked the MAL website   recently? 

Use it to find the handbook, publicity posters, pictures of past MALs, and much more:

Text Box: July 2004

Compiled by Shawn Romer
Text Box: Model Arab League
Alumni Newsletter
Text Box: Volume 1, Issue 2

Amanda Kass was one of ten students who traveled to Kuwait City in October.

The hope of this newsletter is that it will enable Model participants and alumni to remain in contact with the National Council, and vice versa.

If you have comments about the newsletter, the website, or anything else that is model-related, please don’t hesitate to let us know. 

If you want to suggest a fellow Model alum to be profiled in an upcoming MAL Alumni Newsletter, send us an email (shawn@ncusar.org) or call 202.293.6466. 

We look forward to keeping in touch with you. 

Shawn Romer, MAL Coordinator



A Note from the MAL Staff

Page 1  |  On to page 2

Photo by Darrin Bryan/ThisWeek