'Model UN conference' begins: a colourful display by 250 students
ISLAMABAD, Aug 17: The third regional Smamun (Saint Mary's Academy Model
United Nations) conference, a students organised event, kicked off with a bang
at the Saint Mary's Academy Lalazar in Rawalpindi on Thursday, boasting
strengths of over 250 delegates from 29 schools.
Smamun Society is a
student-led organisation which seeks to provide college and high school
under-graduates an insight into the workings and dealings of the United
The four-day event would engage schools which would represent
different countries like Cuba, US, North Korea, France, Lebanon besides many
others in meaningful debates on contemporary issues of significance by
simulating mock committee sessions of the United Nations.
City School, Roots Islamabad, Beacon House, Khuldunia High School, Grammar
School, University Law College Lahore, LGS Lahore and students from Saint Mary's
Academy are participating in the event.
The principal of the academy,
Eileen Ann Datty, said, "It is a platform provided by students to their
counterparts to express their abilities and interact and learn about
international relations." She expressed the hope that the children would learn
to develop tolerance and become open to differences of opinions. "If one more
student becomes aware then such events are worth arranging that can lead to
greater understanding of cultures."
Following the huge popularity and
success over the past two years, Global Village, a social event giving the
delegates a chance to represent their country assignments in a more illustrative
and visual manner, was also held on the occasion.
Depicting the land of
the Pharos, students of Islamabad Convent School were representing Egypt. Titled
"Lets journey into Egypt's ancient civilization", their stall literally carried
delegates back into time. The students had decorated their pavilion with
beautiful paintings and artifacts, some even 400 years old, and some Egyptian
"There is much more to Egypt than just Pharos and the
Pyramids," said Maria Alliende and Natasha Sarah Murad, dressed as Egyptian
royal ladies, adding that the Egyptian culture was the most fascinating and they
also learnt so much about their politics. Their classmate Sidra Khokhar
appreciated the Egyptian embassy for helping them study the
Dressed in traditional African shirts and head scarves, Emaan
Maqbool and Abdullah Bhatti admired everything about Ghana. "Did you know that
Ghana was the first African country to gain independence? Did you know that coco
for almost all the chocolates in the world came from Ghana? And did you know
that there is 57 per cent literacy in our Ghana," said two Beacon House students
representing the African country.
"Ghana may be poor but the culture, the
dances and the natural wealth make it so rich," said Emaan.
probably the greatest event to learn about so many countries and mingle with so
many children," said Mina Asghar, as she put bindi on the forehead of a girl who
represented Saudi Arabia.
Her classmates from Beacon House School System
represented India and would be taking up the issues of poverty and HIV/Aids in
topics assigned to them.
But probably one of the most interesting was the
Israeli pavilion. Mohammad Ali, Ayaz Mehmood and Fahad Jalil, O-level students
from Beacon House Rawalpindi, demonstrated how a wedding in the Jewish culture
Loud but romantic music played in the background as a Jewish
bride, played by one of their female class fellows walked from the school
building towards her pavilion. All the students gathered around taking pictures
from their cybershots or phone cameras. But besides all the fun and insight into
Jewish traditions, the team was set to take on the rest of the world on various
"Israel is a difficult country to represent because
there are so many questions that will be thrown at us once dialogue starts
tomorrow. But we are ready to defend Israel and present solutions that might
satisfy all the delegates," said Abbas Taqui.
Saint Mary's Model UN
society had been preparing since March to make Smamun a great success. Arsalan
Alif Shafqat, one of the organisers, was pleased with the way the conference was
conducted. "Last whole month we worked day and night. And we are looking forward
to some serious interactions when the dialogues between these countries start
from tomorrow," Arsalan said. Dawn