The Art of Political Courage (AMMUN Recap)

by Kymberley Chu on November 16, 2015

Delegates discussing clauses in security council.

Delegates discussing clauses in security council.

“Political courage is the ability to stand up and to voice your opinion.” Tara Matalka, the Secretary General of Amman Model United Nations (AMMUN) said.

Over 16 schools and 500 delegates participated in Amman Model United Nations ( AMMUN), Jordan on October 28th to November 2nd, 2015. This 14th annual session of AMMUN brought together delegates from diverse places such as Turkey and Tanzania, delegates passionately debated about global issues such as ISIS. This year, political courage was the chosen theme of AMMUN.

In a dynamic and changing world, the theme of political courage is heavily emphasised. AMMUN aims to further inspire youth involvement in global affairs and to provide a political voice for the oppressed. The theme of political courage ( proposed by deputy secretary general Suraya Salfiti) is prominent through AMMUN’s opening ceremony, special conference (SPC) committee focusing on Jordan’s internal security, highly distinguished guest speakers such as former Jordanian prime minister Taher Masri, followed by a unique NGO sponsored project with the Nour al Barakah organization.

Deputy Secretary General Suraya Salfiti presents her welcoming note at the opening ceremony.

Deputy Secretary General Suraya Salfiti presents her welcoming note at the opening ceremony.

During the opening ceremony, deputy secretary general Suleiman Mashini presented his video focusing on political courage. Narrated by Lara Abdullah, Head of Training/ President of General Assemblies, the video includes snippets of past conflicts and the music video “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars. This inspiring video ended with a call to action: to voice out your opinion, to stand up for justice and equality to create a better future for the world.

“It is a unique opportunity to bring people from such diverse backgrounds and nationalities, to spend several days together in order to debate global issues, it’s an amazing opportunity. The theme of political courage is also something to be noted and encouraged.” UNICEF representative in Jordan, Robert Jenkins remarked with enthusiasm in a personal interview. Mr. Jenkins, a UNICEF representative gave a speech on political dialogue and its crucial role in global affairs. In his speech, Mr. Jenkins encouraged many delegates to take part and solve global issues for equality.

Delegates expressed their own political courage through the recent addition of the Special Committee (SPC). They debated about Jordan’s future and its involvement in the Middle East such as the Syrian refugee crisis. Issues such as internal security and the foreign policy of Jordan were debated on by analysing economic, social, and humanitarian aspects. In addition, guest speakers such as the British Ambassador to Jordan provided advice on the delegates’ plans. After three days of lobbying and debating, delegates volunteered in a community service project with Nour al-Barakah.

Nour al-Barakah (NAB) is an NGO that runs an organic garden while providing a vocational outlet for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Over 20 delegates participated in a myriad of activities such as producing organic compost and playing football with the adults with intellectual disabilities. This hands-on project revealed the intangible amount of bravery and open mindedness of the delegates. In fact, AMMUN’s theme of political courage was amplified through the SPC, distinguished guest speakers, and its hands-on project among a multitude of factors.

Just as Yasmine Katkhuda, Head of Training said ” It is the courage to stand up and stand your ground, what you believe in, hold that belief strongly.”

AMMUN exemplifies a balance of diplomacy and learning, its professional and open minded environment further encourages everyone to not only express their opinions, rather to also provide solutions and fight for equality in a turbulent world. Not only did AMMUN succeed with introducing the theme of political courage, rather AMMUN instilled a sense of unswerving bravery among today’s youth in the Middle East. The feeling of political courage is a belief that we all need to have.

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