Twelve years. Twelve years of commitment and dedication. Twelve years of communication and diplomacy. Twelve years of expansion and improvement. For twelve years now, the Global Classrooms Lebanese American University Model United Nations has done nothing but thrive. Nevertheless, all this couldn’t have been possible had there not been a team of hardworking student-leaders behind the scenes.
On Saturday September 24, 2016, the Program Director of GC LAU MUN/LAU MAL, Prof. Elie Samia, the Program Coordinator Ms. Ghina Harb, along with the Senior Secretariat Board gathered at LAU Byblos for the annual Secretariat Training Camp which englobes a thorough evaluation of applicants who wish to enter the MUN family. This day was planned ahead of time in order to ensure a smooth flow of assessment sessions.
The Training Camp took off at 8:30 a.m. when applicants arrived and checked-in at our School Relations team’s desk. After all the applicants assembled in the multipurpose room, both secretaries general of MUN and MAL introduced their teams and gave general remarks and the planned schedule.
GC LAU MUN Secretary General Wadih B. Khnaizer gave a warm welcoming speech in which he expressed his utmost satisfaction and surprise to have such a huge crowd willing to and aiming at joining the MUN team. Then, starting with Deputy Secretary General Mia Mouawad, the vigorous hard-worker behind the scenes who has an attentive eye watching over every event to ensure it runs smoothly, Khnaizer introduced the Senior Secretariat Board members to the audience. After that, Model Arab League SG Youssef Taher spoke introducing his task this year; then, he initiated some ice-breakers to establish common ground with the audience.
Following them, Prof. Samia took the floor to raise everyone’s spirits as well as to set some ground regulations. Most significantly in his speech, he pinpointed that “LAU MUN and MAL programs are based on the element of respecting diversity,” explaining that the team that will be summoned is one of educators and influencers. He went on to stress the importance of professionalism and neutrality which, along with the “collective wisdom and power of discernment, are the only criteria for recruitment” at this stage.
After the speeches were done, applicants were steered towards their respective teams – where the real decision-making began. Our teams dynamically welcomed the applicants who enthusiastically made their way around campus to reach the allotted destination. Different assessment criteria to each team; however, all teams had an MUN presentation and ice-breakers in common on their to-do lists. Each team director conducted sessions differently throughout the day; those activities can be summarized as follows:
Under Secretary General for School Relations – Fouad Al Kadi: “During the Training camp, we ran self-evaluations for each individual by testing resourcefulness, patience, efficiency, and time-management skills. Our work is all about communication and interactivity, so this is what we look for and work on enhancing!”
Under Secretary General for Logistics & Operations – Hadi Mroue: “Basically our activities revolved around tasks that involved accuracy, efficiency, patience, leadership, and most importantly teamwork! Our personnel are the first to arrive on campus and the last to leave; that’s why, it is crucial that our team members be devoted hard-workers.”
Under Secretary General for Public Relations– Karl Sadaka: The selection process for our team mainly assessed gracefulness, charm, charisma, self-confidence, and amiability. Another stark aspect that influences decision-making is the individual’s ability to communicate orally or in writing.”
Under Secretary General for Public Information– Nour Karim: “Our applicants were required to showcase a portfolio of their previous work, as well as present in-action pictures that they were sent out to take on the day of the camp. The characteristics we hunt for include creativity, energy, liveliness, an excellent sense of perspective, and a good eye. Gladly, the training camp encompassed such high-caliber contestants who met and exceeded our expectations.”
Under Secretary General for Training – Pio Ibrahim: “The training and educational development teams conducted two sessions, the first being a speech the applicants had to research for and write in a set amount of time, while the second was a group presentation of a UN goodwill ambassador. The sessions allowed the teams to evaluate the applicants’ communication, public speaking skills, and research skills along other traits required by trainers.”
Under Secretary General of Educational Development – Yasmina El Sabeh: “During the Training Camp, the Educational Development division along with training team merged into several classes in order to assess students on their performance based on public speaking skills, research skills, their character, their ability to interact with a class and to inspire others. We were searching for those who will shape the next generations of young ambassadors.”
Each of the team directors mentioned above also expressed their gratitude towards their assistants who helped them make it through by employing critical judgment and interactive communication; indeed, one hand can’t clap on its own! Here’s a glimpse of the tireless appointed collaborators:
Assistant Under Secretary General for School Relations: Kamar Al Amine and Ghida El Hout
Assistant Under Secretary General for Logistics & Operations: Raymond Wehbe and Anthony Maalouf
Assistant Under Secretary General for Public Relations: Reef Carla Torbey
Assistant Under Secretary General for Public Information: Natasha Salloum
Assistant Under Secretary General for Training: Georgio Massaad, Nicole Abou Samra, Rita Estephan, Elio Yaccoub, Cynthia Nasr and Charbel Bathiche
Assistant Under Secretary General for Educational Development: Layan El Khatib, Kassem Ayach, and Petra Helal
When Prof. Samia was asked how these twelve years were this successful, he replied, “MUN is a program of diplomacy for young ambassadors; furthermore, we made it this far because we have faith in our youth, and we depend on our team’s passion with a purpose and perseverance!” Addressing the team, he asserted that “attitude more than aptitude spurs altitude!”
Twelve years of thriving and of transformational leadership, so brace yourselves for the days to come. With such a transformational team, there is no doubt that what is ahead will bring about nothing other than diplomatic leaders of a bright future!!