The following recap was provided by Javeria Khalid Petiwala, an A Level student and a passionate MUNer from Lyceum School, Karachi Pakistan.
Students from the Institute of Business Administration and Lahore University of Management Sciences had busied themselves in rigorous preparation in order to take part in Model United Nation Turkey (MUNTR) held in Antalya from 4th to 8th March 2013. Accompanied by their respective teams, they arrived in Antalya only to be welcomed by a gorgeous beach, glamorous social events (including a dance night on a cruise ship) and a competitive, well organized conference ahead.
Taleha Aftab, a student in IBA admits that she was tensed because it was her first international conference outside of Pakistan but adds in that “people were actually quite friendly and welcomed Pakistanis quite warmly.”
“I did not know what to expect there in the committee and I had been told how munning there is quite different from how we do it here but I was obviously very happy because winning in a huge committee such as DISEC was definitely big especially when we had received our committees just two days before we left for the conference. I was also quite relieved as the pressure to prove myself at the international level was off my shoulders” Taleha says after winning the ‘Outstanding Diplomacy’ award in DISEC at MUNTR.
She adds in that she misses Turkey and reminisces about the memorable times she spent there.
“The most memorable day would definitely be the second day in Istanbul when we planned out the whole day and visited most of the attractions all the way from Sultanahmet to Besiktas to Taksim to Asia and back to Europe! Turkey is a beautiful country!” she tells me enthusiastically, remembering the unforgettable times she had in Turkey with her team.
Nabeel Shaikh, a student of IBA was all smiles when he won an Honorable Mention in International Monetary Fund (IMF) representing China in MUNTR. This was however, not his first international MUN as he has already won an Outstanding Diplomacy award in Harvard National Model United Nation 2012. With a chairing experience under his belt and two international awards, Nabeel keeps on adding to his public speaking awards which boasts of his confident debating skills.
“Participation in international MUNs has changed the false perception of people who before knew Pakistanis as terrorists or extremists, now know Pakistanis as talented, educated and peaceful people. This is the reason we should participate more and more in not just MUN conferences but all international competitions, so that we can change the existing negative perception for Pakistanis around the world into a positive one,” Nabeel Shaikh emphasizes on the importance of Pakistanis being represented on such global platforms.
However, a student in Lahore University of Management Sciences, Hamza Ayub who won an ‘Outstanding Diplomacy’ in SPECPOL was more ecstatic and delighted when his institute was given the Best Delegation award due to their win of 13/14 awards in this conference. Apart from the conference itself, Hamza stresses on the importance of unity that was present in team LUMS.
“I believe there is no parable to a good 3 hours cycling experience all the way to the top of the hill on an island that stares right at Istanbul where you shut your eyes, feel the wind in your face and raise your hands high and feel the victory that came your way in what is considered a game of leadership and a fight of intellect,” Hamza enlightens me of his amazing experience of travelling with his team in Turkey and the beautiful memories he will always cherish and took with himself back to Lahore.
On the other hand, Daniyal Naiyer, an experienced debater in his 3rd year in IBA who has chaired several national MUNs in Pakistan was really disappointed as he “was expecting something more than just an Honorable Mention award”. However, Daniyal acknowledges that MUNTR was really invigorating and energizing.
“It was really refreshing because, although I have been to Harvard World MUN before, the spirit of diplomacy and cooperation at MUNTR was a refreshing break from the cutthroat my-resolution-passes-at-any-cost attitude at WorldMUN,” Daniyal talks about his experience of participating in the UN Security Council in MUNTR, representing the country, China.
Daniyal also reminisces about the well organized social events of this conference and eagerly adds in; “They made an announcement before the cruise night that their socials are the best in town and they certainly did not disappoint.”
In the end, the results concluded with team LUMS winning the Best Delegation award and IBA Karachi winning 7/7 awards. Lahore University (LUMS) have been winning Best Delegation award at MUNTR since 7 years in a row now and these students along with all other winning delegations from Pakistan take pride in representing the country internationally. These students through their hard work and passion for public speaking have not only bought pride to their respective institutions but to their country as well. They have demonstrated the significance of participating in international conferences as it does not only augments their public speaking proficiency but also gives them an exclusive opportunity to change the distrustful opinions of people in relation to that of Pakistanis that the media portrays. It makes people more tolerant and allows them to spread tranquility and harmony by producing a more global and an engaging environment. When Pakistanis are represented on such imperative platforms, it shows to the world that we are more than just a third world country but that our nerves are made of steel and we are here to conquer and more.
Congratulations to the award winners and the MUNTR 2013 staffers for a successful conference this year.