Model United Nations Workshop in Ayalde

This activity counts for the components of Service and Creativity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

Goal: To hone my debating and critical thinking skills and help the Ayalde students with their MUN work.

This Saturday I, along with some of my classmates and friends, attended the first Model United Nations Workshop in Ayalde, a school nearby, participating as a delegate from the country of Afghanistan. The goal of this workshop was to build up our debating  and critical thinking skills, and it was directed especially at new MUN delegates that did not know how these types of conferences work. The people who had attended previous MUN events, including myself, were asked to attend as to set an example for the rest of the delegates.

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The ASB MUN Ayalde team (I am the third from the right in the last row).

In order to prepare for this conference, one of my classmates and I had to research the issue of terrorism from the perspective of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our counterparts in Ayalde had to research the subject of hydraulic fracking. My classmate and I then wrote a resolution, which detailed how Afghanistan would act in order to stop terrorist groups. We both agreed that it would be difficult to defend at the conference, as almost none of the countries attending were our allies.

However, the conference itself proved to be much more fun than what we had first imagined. We began by creating a collaborative resolution, made up entirely of clauses the different delegations had to propose and defend. After that, we debated the resolutions as a whole with some parents and teachers present. Fortunately, both my classmate and I got to talk quite a bit on the podium, and we were even able to become one main submitters of the resolution on terrorism, as we had submitted two clauses to it (although only one was finally accepted). It was very entertaining to debate this issue in the name of Afghanistan, as it gave us a unique, middle-eastern perspective of this issue, which was very unlike the opinions we usually hear on the news and on debates, and it was fun to get into little, lighthearted fights with those representing western powers that opposed our views.

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The entire MUN Ayalde group.

All in all, it was a truly enjoyable experience, and it made me realize just how much I have changed since I started participating in MUN conferences a year ago. Although I used to be extremely quiet and shy, I have discovered that it is now much easier for me to express my opinions and ideas, even if it’s in a language that I don’t speak much outside of school. In addition to this, this work encouraged me to look at current issues of international importance from different points of view, which enhanced my understanding of these complex problems and trained me in empathy and critical thinking.

I truly would not mind doing something like this again!

Singing Lessons: During #6

An exciting change of plans has taken place!

The first singing lesson after returning from my winter holidays started off with a surprising turn of events: both my classmate and I (there are just two of us now, as the third decided to leave after the holidays due to schoolwork) are going to be participating in the music school’s annual audition on February 4th! I am extremely excited about this, as it will be the first time I sing properly in front of an audience.

My classmate and I will be performing a song titled “Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen. (Listen to it here!) I am thrilled to be singing this song, as it happens to be one of my favourite songs of all time! (Although I do prefer the version sung by Keane to the one we will actually be signing, as it is the first version of the song I came into contact with). Both my classmate and I will sing some parts of the song alone and others in unison. However, we will sing the song’s bridge using two voices, or melodies.

It is that last aspect of our performance that I am most worried about, as it is me who has to deviate from the original song as the second voice. This has proven to be quite hard for me to do, and I am not sure I will be able to sing that part of the song correctly, especially because I expect to be extremely nervous on the day of the event! However, the rest of the song is turning out pretty well, and I was delighted to discover that my voice works wonderfully with that of my classmate.

Despite my insecurities, I will work hard to prepare this song as well as I can in order to have it ready for the audition. I can’t wait to see how it goes!