Centenary students excel at Model Arab League competition in Texas

L to R: Coco Edwards, Lily Ann Easley, Maria Zabaneh, Soira Teferi, Brenlyee Meaux, Taha Hayat. Not pictured: Kennedy Wilcher

SHREVEPORT, LA — Seven students represented Centenary College at the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce Model Arab League competition at the University of Houston on February 15 and 16. The students served as delegates from Lebanon and competed on the Joint Defense, Political Affairs, Social Affairs, and Economic Affairs councils.

Centenary’s delegation competed alongside students from Texas State University-San Marcos, Texas A&M-College Station, the University of Houston Honors College, the University of Arizona, and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. In addition to Centenary’s Lebanon delegation, participants represented Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen at the competition.

Junior history and political science major Maria Zabaneh and sophomore communications and political science major L.A. Easley were recognized as the “outstanding delegation” (first place) on the Social Affairs Council, while junior political science and theater major Kennedy Wilcher and senior political science major Coco Edwards received the same designation for the Economic Affairs council. Other members of the Centenary delegation were senior Soira Teferi, a history and political science major, and Taha Hayat and Brenlyee Meaux, both sophomore political science majors. Two additional students will join the team for the Southwest Regional Conference of the Model Arab League, to be held in April at Texas A&M-Commerce.

“Students participating in Model Arab League build on their existing classroom-based knowledge, but significantly expand on it through individualized and team-based research,” says Dr. Chad Fulwider, associate professor of history at Centenary and advisor for the Model Arab League. “Students select a country and practice as a team to research information that pertains to their chosen 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.”

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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