I had the pleasure of interviewing Ahmed Hajari, Secretary-General of THIMUN Qatar 2017, on his experience overlooking the conference during this year’s THIMUN Qatar.
Chea-Mun: Please introduce yourself and your role during this years THIMUN Qatar.
Ahmed: As Secretary-General, I was the person that was fully in charge of the conference in making sure that everything runs smoothly. That includes checking that everything is going well with Student Officers, delegates, the Admin Team and Press Team. Most importantly, I generally making sure that all international students arrive and leave the Qatar National Convention Center having received everything that they need.
Chea-Mun: What has been your overall experience in Model United Nations? How have your past experiences helped you in your role as Secretary-General?
Ahmed: Having done it for 6 years now, I started off as admin staff, moved on to being a delegate, and then became a Student Officer for many conferences, both nationally and internationally. Last year, I served as the Deputy President of the General Assembly. Through that, I was able to gain experience in being on the Executive Team and got a feel of running THIMUN Qatar. From there, I served as President of the General Assembly in THIMUN Singapore and I was able to get another chance to see how it is to run and work with an Executive Team. I also served as Secretary-General of Middle School MUN and through that, I was able to get an understanding of working with the THIMUN office.
Chea-Mun: What was your favorite part of THIMUN Qatar this year?
Ahmed: My favorite part about THIMUN Qatar this year must have been the Opening Ceremony for several reasons. The first reason is we were relieved to see that all of the 10 months of hard work with the Executive team has finally came to the wonderful Opening Ceremony. It was also very interesting to welcome and meet 35 ambassadors to Qatar that were invited to the Opening Ceremony. They mingled with their Heads of Delegations and their Ambassador that is supporting their country in the conference. To have such powerful members attend our conference, it was a great experience. Also, it was great to see their reaction when they saw the scale of the conference, how much work goes into the conference, and most of all, that THIMUN Qatar is a student-run conference.
Apart from that, our Opening Ceremony had a lot of interesting speakers. Our keynote speaker, Khalid Al Ameri, is a social activist in the region and is very well known on social media. It was very good to have him speak about his life and how he was able to link with topics of employment and decent work. It was great to see the crowd reacting and enjoying his keynote speech.
Chea-Mun: What sets THIMUN Qatar apart from other MUN conferences you have experienced?
Ahmed: Personally, what sets THIMUN apart from other MUN international conferences that I’ve been to is that THIMUN Qatar has been my ‘home conference’ and the first and last conference I’ve attended. TQ has always been the highlight of my year, and is in my home town and run by my school. I have a personal attachment to THIMUN Qatar.
THIMUN Qatar has grown into the largest international MUN conference in the region. The quality of debate and what runs in the conference has been able to grow year by year. We have the French committee, which is a new committee debated in French, the Arab committee, which has been running for three years, and the Film Institute and Film Festival. THIMUN Qatar has been able to grow from being an MUN conference to a hub for creativity and growth for the youth in the region. All high schoolers in the region always look forward to this event, as it has a platform for all people to join, whether you’re interested in Press, debate, or the Executive Team. There is always a part for every individual to grow in their interests.
Chea-Mun: What was a major hurdle you faced in planning or which occurred during THIMUN Qatar? How did you and your team handle the situation?
Ahmed: Throughout the conference, we’ve had many hurdles when it came to the keynote speaker, debating, resolutions, and chairs. There has been a lot of issues that happened, but my team and I were able to diffuse any issues to make sure that not a lot of people were affected by these issues. Apart from that, my team and I tried to diffuse any issues or risks that might happen before the conference, and for that reason, we did not have many issues we had to solve during the conference.
Chea-Mun: Do you have any advice for any delegates just starting MUN? Or for delegates who are unsure of whether they should join/stay in MUN?
Ahmed: My final advice that I would give to any new delegates, and I said this in my speech, is really trying to be a risk taker and go into an MUN conference with an open mind. Ignore anything that anyone before you has said. From there, you are able to judge accordingly. MUN is not for everyone, just like how sports or art is not for everyone, so it’s just a matter of trying it out before you can judge. Students should go for it, see how it is, and judge from there. If you like it, you should continue. Don’t let one bad experience to prevent you from doing MUN in the future.