UCSB’s Model Arab League team racked up a number of awards at a major regional competition last Saturday.
The team returned from the event, the 2010 West Coast University MAL in San Francisco, with four Best Delegate awards and one Honorable Mention. Additionally, the UCSB Model Arab League team won the overall award for Most Outstanding Delegation at this year’s competition. During the event, the UCSB team represented Lebanon and competed against 18 teams from 11 different universities.
MAL is designed to simulate the procedures and council sessions of the actual Arab League, Andrew Magnusson, graduate student advisor of the MAL, said.
Although a lack of funds kept the team from competing at the national level in Washington D.C. this year, it has in past years represented the United Arab Emirates and Palestine at nationals.
Miriam Zouzounis, head delegate of the MAL team and a fourth-year student, said broader topics include themes like situational issues between Israel and Palestine.
“We basically write resolutions and try to get them passed,” Zouzounis said. “We need to know how Lebanon would act.”
Team member Jeremy Hodge said the simulation remains fairly consistent with actual country relations, including the power to sway people after earning their respect.
“The legislation that I got passed was creating the Arab Homeland Security Agency, which was basically getting all of the countries included in the Arab League to contribute one percent of their GDP towards a sort of master police department,” Hodge, a fourth-year Middle East studies major, said. “This institution would have the ability to cross borders and issue arrest warrants.”
Zouzounis, who said the actual Arab League tends to be unproductive, said the MAL is positive political practice.
“It’s kind of interesting to put yourself in a role that already exists and see how capable you are of it — it’s not like they do too much in the real Arab League anyway,” Zouzounis said.