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Haileybury MUN Conference (UK): A New Cultural Exposure

23 April 2018

Since HHHS believes in promoting international mindedness among its learners, it offers the MUN program in both the Middle and High School Divisions as an approach to reinforce this concept and to provide our learners with the chance to experience new contexts of learning through cultural exposure. On March 21 through March 26, six students from Houssam Eddine Hariri High School got the chance to participate in the annual Haileybury MUN Conference, which is organized by Haileybury College, UK.
On the opening ceremony of the conference, the keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash, shared with the delegates his international experience as a diplomat who had to deal with Defense Diplomacy in different contexts whereby he had to demonstrate power yet respect to the locals. A pivotal lesson he learned was, “Power comes with responsibility.” It is a lesson for the youth to digest regarding the work of diplomats and the representatives of countries in various contexts since being powerful entails respect towards the others. Lieutenant Gash also highlighted the significance of achievement regardless of those who receive the credit at the end. It is essential that such significant lessons be shared with MUNers and probably future diplomats who will one day take control of the world and will have to take major decisions about various conflicts they encounter on a daily basis.
On another level, the six delegates, representing Sierra Leone in six different committees, have got the chance to mingle with British and other international delegates enriching their MUN experience by dealing with individuals coming from different cultural backgrounds. They have also learned new rules of procedures allowing them to reflect on their previous MUN experiences and the added value they have gained from this one. Not to mention, our delegates who have got the chance to sharpen their research and public speaking skills have been able to respond and initiate points of discussions during heated debates.
Of course, we cannot talk about MUN conference in UK without talking about London, a vibrant cosmopolitan city, combining history and modernity. The delegates got the chance to experience transportation in the underground tubes and the famous red double-decker bus where they exuberantly roamed the city’s most famous sites such as West Minister’s Abbey, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. They also visited Madame Tussauds Museum, taking pictures with celebrities and famous historical figures. There was also the experience of riding the London Eye, the fourth-largest Ferris wheel in the world, in order to enjoy the beauty of the city from above. Of course, we cannot but mention visiting the famous King’s Cross Station from Harry Potter’s installments.
The participating delegates were more than pleased to share the following reflections with the school community:

“Attending an international MUN conference such as Haileybury MUN was an outstanding experience. It made me learn a lot! Individuals coming from different countries with various cultures and beliefs gave me the chance to debate and to defend my points of view with a delegate who misunderstands Quran, for instance. This experience triggered my curiosity to explore online and to attend more international conferences since they could bring together people of diverse beliefs and opinions from different regions around the world.” Adeeb Mordaa ~ Grade 10A


“I will forever be appreciative and thankful for being able to experience such a wonderful trip that has allowed me to become wiser, stronger, more knowledgeable, loving, courageous, and most importantly, forever more enthusiastic MUNer…We were young individuals experiencing roles of leaders and acting as countries’ representatives gathering in one room and communicating with many delegates that come from completely diverse backgrounds. All of these factors have allowed my mind to evolve miraculously!” Camille Koujou ~ Gr.10 IP

“We, as delegates of Sierra Leone in six different committees, have prepared a minimum of two resolutions on four different topics for each committee. Before leaving, though, we investigated on the difference between our local MUN conferences and this international one. Instead of having unmoderated caucus and subtopics, such as THIMUN affiliated conferences, there was a debate on several resolutions during the whole conference not just on the last part of the conference as is usually the case in other conferences, which sharpened our communication and advocacy skills in a marvelous way!” Fayza Ibdeih ~Gr.10B

“With all passion, motivation and some anxiety, I’ve proudly fulfilled one of the amazing accomplishments on my bucket list… I am not sure if it was about the competition among the attendees, the nervousness of some people, or the pleasure of knowing different cultures, but Haileybury MUN was definitely fascinating.” Sabine El Baba ~ Gr. 9B

“We debated extremely critical topics such as Foreign Manipulation of National politics, encouraging representatives of governments, enabling peaceful productive political discourse, and enhancing self-determination. Though I tried my best, I unfortunately did not win… However, I discovered that rewards are not everything since in real UN Conferences, I hadn't seen a single ambassador win a diplomacy award!” Joseph Mansour ~ Gr.9IP

“I was in the second general assembly discussing Cryptocurrency, tax haven, automation in the workplace and the role of BRIC countries in globalization. These topics were very interesting and worth debating, making me eager to open a GA2 committee in HHHS MUN. I focused to make the most out of the three days of Haileybury Conference. All those moments of negotiating and debating over resolutions were amazing learning experiences that I really hope to relive soon. I do encourage everyone to get involved in MUN for all its benefits and most importantly the fun of it.” Sallama Seif Eddine ~ Seconde



Hiba Chamandi
MUN & IBDP EE Coordinator
HS Language Arts Teacher