Centenary Model Arab League team recognized as Outstanding Delegation

Clockwise from bottom left: Maria Zabaneh, Taya Hayat, Dr. Chad Fulwider, Kennedy Wilcher, L.A. Easley

SHREVEPORT, LA — Four students represented Centenary College at the 2021 Bilateral Regional Model Arab League competition, which was held virtually on March 6 and 7. The students, serving as delegates from Kuwait, were named the Outstanding Delegation for the conference and each team member was also recognized individually as a Distinguished Delegate.

Senior history and political science major Maria Zabaneh, of Shreveport, was named a Distinguished Delegate for her work on the Political Affairs Council. L.A. Easley, a junior from Texarkana, AR, majoring in communications and political science, worked on the Social Affairs Council and was also named a Distinguished Delegate. Taha Hayat, a junior political science major from Shreveport, earned the Distinguished Delegate distinction for his work on the Special Council on Technology and Cybersecurity, and senior political science and theater major Kennedy Wilcher, a native of Clinton, LA, was named a Distinguished Delegate for the Environmental Affairs Council.

“Students participating in Model Arab League begin with their classroom-based knowledge, but significantly expand on it through individual and team-based research,” said Dr. Chad Fulwider, associate professor of history at Centenary and advisor for the Model Arab League. “Students select a country to represent as a team and research information that pertains to their respective council. In the council sessions, they must be able to think on their feet and respond to challenges with grace and respect, but also wit, as they negotiate and build alliances to achieve their goals. This year’s virtual conference presented new challenges, but the team was still able to participate as a group by meeting in the library classrooms and attended the closing session as a team, masked and socially distanced. No other delegation was able to do that.”

The Centenary team competed against seven other institutions from Texas and Arkansas, but were the only school representing Louisiana.

The Model Arab League (MAL) was established in 1983 by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as an opportunity for primarily American, but also Arab and other international students, to put themselves in the shoes of real-life Arab diplomats and foreign affairs professionals. MAL participants are judged on their ability to represent the needs, concerns, interests, and foreign policy objectives of their assigned country. In the process, they deepen their understanding of the Arab world; develop valuable analytical organizational, writing, and public speaking skills; and prepare themselves for knowledgeable and effective engagement in the public sphere in their chosen fields. More than 2,000 students participate in MAL programs annually.


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