Hassnain Safdar was one of three Aston students to attend the University of Birmingham Model Arab League 2015 (UoBMAL) this month. Event organisers praised him for his confident and perceptive debating style, awarding him the title of ‘Distinguished Delegate’.
The annual conference attracts university students from around the world who come to take on the role of diplomats and representatives of different countries in the Arab League. They are presented with hypothetical crises and situations, based on real life events, for which they must create detailed strategies and resolutions – while ensuring they represent their own country’s interests.
Students this year were tasked with combatting the threat of terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) and alleviating a humanitarian emergency in Iraq and the Levant caused by their rise to power. Hassnain acted in charge of foreign affairs for Russia, who have a sizeable influence in the region. He successfully brokered an alliance with students representing Iran and Saudi Arabia to bring stability to the region and weaken IS.
Hassnain, a second year Optometry student and captain of Aston’s Model UN Society, said: “Taking part in the Model Arab League was enormously enjoyable and highly rewarding. I now have a much more thorough understanding of the political, social and economic issues affecting the Middle East which I hope to put to good use at future conferences and UN events.
“The UoBMAL tested me to the limit and really made me appreciate the value of good diplomacy and forging mutually beneficial relationships in international relations. It was a pleasure to be involved and I was very proud to have been given an accolade for my role at the conference.”
The Arab League is an organisation of Arab countries in Northern Africa and Southwest Asia. It was formed in 1945 with the goal of safeguarding the independence and sovereignty of member states while encouraging greater collaboration between them. Current members of the League include Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.
The UoBMAL first took place in 2004. It has grown into the largest conference of its kind in Europe.
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