A Memorable experience – MUN 2017
When we chose ‘Model United Nations’ as our Exploration course at the start of the year, we were charmed by the prospect of debating in conferences and eager to learn more about the world we live in, but we were completely oblivious to the fact that we were about to embark on one of the most beautiful journeys of our lives…
With the unwavering
patience of our teachers, we spent the entire school year getting ready for the conference we knew was getting closer every day. It is safe to say that we were quite frightened by the idea of facing students from all around the world in a series of debates, but that only fueled our desire to learn more and exceed everyone’s expectations. After getting sorted into the different committees and being assigned the delegation of countries all around the world, we were finally able to start our own personal research on the myriad of topics and questions that were to be treated throughout the conference. We put together several mock conferences in our classroom, and you can imagine the utter chaos that resulted in having 30 driven, opinionated delegates trying to get their points across! As the conference day grew closer though, the level of motivation and excitement blossomed to no end, because the unfaltering work we did throughout the entire year was finally about to pay off, and we were collectively intending on succeeding and making ourselves and our teachers proud.
And just like that, the day had come.
The entire class met up at the airport with our teachers as the sun peeked through the clouds in the early morning, all of us bursting with excitement and determination. Then, we checked our luggage in to board our plane to Madrid, and an hour and a half later, we finally landed. After a ride to our apartments, that we spent checking up on our families back home and singing at the top of our lungs to our favourite songs, we had lunch and started sight-seeing and getting familiar with our surroundings.
The next day, we spent the morning completing our research and perfecting our resolutions, and that was also extremely fun as we started to step into our roles and act as if we were already in our conference rooms! After that, the teachers granted us the rest of the day as free time, that we spent shopping and visiting the city in small groups to then meet up in the evening at the restaurant for dinner.
On Monday morning, the atmosphere was considerably heavier while we walked to the school that so graciously hosted us, Beatriz Galindo, as it was the first day of the long awaited conference. When we got there, the staff handed us our country placards, as well as our badges and we gathered around in the auditorium for the opening ceremony. We were pleasantly surprised by a highly considerate musical representation of a traditional Moroccan song that the school orchestra dedicated to us, followed by one from France, Russia, and Barcelona to honor the different students present there. After that, the hosts, chairs and ambassadors started their speeches. We were extremely proud to see students from our own class standing in front of an entire audience to brilliantly deliver their speeches in different languages such as French, Arabic, English, as well as Spanish, and it was an absolute honor to see that very pride reflected on our teacher’s beaming faces. We then proceeded to join our different committees to get to know our fellow delegates and to start an informal debate in order to find signatories and sponsors willing to support our resolutions. While that is a primordial part of the debate, the most pleasant side of it is the fact that ties were already growing between us and the people we were sharing the experience with.
Tuesday was definitely the most eventful day of all, since the core of the debate took place then. We got to our committees in the early morning and immediately started presenting our resolutions. The ones that the chairs deemed most fitting the day before were chosen to be debated in the different committees. We were engrossed in the discussions, tirelessly defending our countries’ positions and standing up for their rights and beliefs, stating a myriad of points of information and points of order, amending the clauses and casting our votes for the entire day. As the hours passed, the debate only got more and more interesting as the delegates gathered their confidence and allowed themselves to be sucked into the fiery discussions, which ended up being extremely entertaining.
In the evening, we went over to the school once more for the ‘Social’, a party meant for the students to socialize and get to know one another. Some of us danced for hours on end, while others chose to engage in conversations with their newly made friends and get to know them better. Meeting new people and creating new bonds is definitely one of the most beautiful facets of the entire MUN experience. We get to share this journey with people from different countries, different cultures and diverse backgrounds, and those people become life-long friends for some of us, even though we may live at opposite ends of the world.
The next day, we returned to our committees to finalize our resolutions and continue the debate started on Tuesday for a few moments. We were then dismissed to attend the closing ceremony, which was the most memorable part of the whole conference, as the best resolutions from the committees were to be presented in front of the General Assembly and voted for or against by all the nations present there. And it’s honestly still difficult for us to describe the pride we felt when a large majority of those resolutions were written by us and ended up getting positive votes. After that, the delegates, chairs, staff members and teachers that made this incredible experience possible got called to the panel and received the diplomas and recognition they deserved. As the ceremony proceeded, our anticipation for the Best Delegate Awards was more palpable than ever, as we were anxiously waiting and hoping to go home with one of those awards at the very least.
Well… that we did…
Every time the Secretary General would call out a committee, its Best Delegate would be among us. Seven committees. Seven Best Delegates from our class.
As for the students who didn’t receive the award, they got honorable mentions for their determination and hard work throughout the conference. We also got to win the ‘Best Delegation’ award for the delegates of Bolivia, whom were all from our class as well. Whenever a name was called, our cheers only got louder, tears of cheer joy were spilt, and by that point, we were absolutely ecstatic. The most striking part of it all was seeing complete and utter pride etched on our teacher’s faces, witnessing their contagious happiness shining so brightly, and feeling how genuine their words were as they congratulated us. If anything, that made the countless hours we spent on our laptops, engrossed in our research, so worth it. Also, we were extremely proud of each other, for we knew how hard each of us had worked to achieve what we had, and we were aware of the challenges that got in our way but that we faced together, making our friendships grow stronger than ever. We then left the school grounds chanting the Moroccan hymn, hand in hand, laughing our heads off and smiling like never before, proud to have raised our country’s flag and held it high.
Saying goodbye to our new friends was extremely hard though, as we exchanged our phone numbers and promises to keep in touch. But the bonds we created during the conference remain a part of us and get stronger no matter the distance.
For the following days, we mostly visited the beautiful city of Madrid and its sites, relieved of the stress from the conference, and we were ready to enjoy our well-deserved time in the beautiful city. We also got the opportunity to learn more about its rich history and culture as we visited several museums and went for a walk through the city with a tour guide.
Then it was time for us to say goodbye…
As we boarded the plane back home, our hearts were welling with pride and unwavering happiness, even though our departure held a bitter-sweet taste to it for the sole reason that we weren’t ready to say goodbye to the incredible times we’ve shared in Madrid, nor were we willing to let go of the memories we’d created over there.
Months have passed now, but we are still so unbelievably grateful for the moments we had, and for the wonderful adventure we got to experience together, for our countless laughs, for the friendships and memories that we’ll cherish forever. But most importantly, for the fact that with our toil and determination, we got to make ourselves and everyone around us prouder than ever.
Team work makes the dream work.
By Zineb Louali,2nd