Cameron Janzen: An Oasis for Model UN in the Middle East

by Ryan on May 24, 2014

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 edition of the Olive Branch Middle East MUN Newsletter.

Qatar Leadership Conference 2013: KFC, Lisa, Cameron, and Ryan

A visionary turns dreams into reality, seeing what’s possible before others know what to look for. When others are lost in the desert, a visionary shows them a common vision and gives them a common voice, guiding them and moving them toward their promised destination. When others are parched with thirst, only able to see mirages, a visionary quenches that thirst and creates an oasis.

Cameron Janzen is a Model UN visionary. Cameron turned the dream of empowering, unifying, and student-centered Model UN programs into reality. Cameron saw what was possible for Qatar MUN before the rest of us had ever heard of THIMUN Qatar. When students and teachers were looking for guidance on how to bring Model UN to their schools, Cameron started the Qatar Leadership Conference and the Olive Branch. When Model UN was a mirage for many schools, Cameron organized workshops and partnered with O-MUN to make sure that anyone, anywhere in the region had the opportunity to participate in this transformative and life-changing activity. Over the past decade, Cameron has created an oasis for Model UN in the Middle East.

Cameron is an extraordinary professional with a sterling reputation, and it has been our pleasure to work with him on multiple projects over the past two years. We have enjoyed working with him and Lisa on teaching Model UN workshops and and delivering the Olive Branch. We’re grateful to have been part of the Qatar Leadership Conference and the THIMUN Qatar Conference. Cameron’s achievements and professionalism are only exceeded by his genuine kindness and generosity in helping others. Ever since our first meeting at THIMUN Hague 2012, we have been inspired by Cameron’s dedication to empowering students and teachers in Qatar, across the Middle East, and around the world.

Of all the students and teachers we’ve met, we’ve never met anyone who has so deeply understood the transformative impact that Model UN has on students the way that Cameron does. We were particularly moved by Cameron’s speech at this year’s THIMUN Qatar:

“MUN is about forming people who have empathy towards others, who have the skills to engage in purposeful, peaceful, but well-organized action…We may not solve the world’s problems, but each and every one of us can make an incredible difference in the lives of others.”

Cameron, thank you for everything. It has been our pleasure to work with you. We wish you the best of luck in your next position and your future endeavors. And although you’ve said that you’re retiring from Model UN, we know from our experience that Model UN is for life — so we look forward to seeing you at your next Model UN conference!

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