They are Pakistanis but students at the Roots Model United Nations (RMUN) 2013 are almost ready to put themselves in the shoes of foreign nationals and talk about world peace.
A three-day Roots Model United Nations (RMUN) 2013 kicked off on Thursday at the Roots School System flagship campus in the Defense Housing Authority (DHA)-Phase-I.
Around 300 students from more than 10 schools are participating in the event, which was started with a Global Village display and colourful cultural show.
The Global Village consisted of around 15 different stalls set up by participating students for the countries they would represent at the RMUN. Most of the students decorated their stalls with national flags, favourite foods, cultural icons, statistics and national symbols of their countries.
While most stalls lacked an earnest enthusiasm, some others showed commitment.
Ahmed Farid, 13, said that he and his team had spent most of the past two days preparing their Netherlands stall. The eighth graders from DHA-Phase I campus had used a giant-sized model of a windmill, cut-outs of famous Dutch footballers and posters of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece paintings to populate their stall.
One of RMUN’s chief organisers, 19-year-old Nausherwan Niaz, said that the Model United Nations concept was a way to boost the confidence of young students.
“It makes them bold and gives the confidence to face the real world,” Niaz, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Law, said. “It also improves their public speaking abilities.”
The MUN concept has become a fad among the upscale private schools of the twin cities.
Students participate in policy discussions about world affairs, trying to mimic diplomats at the highest international level.
On Friday the participating students represented their adopted countries at the sessions of eight different committees. The committees include human rights, economy and anti-terrorism among others.
There were some exceptions, however.
“I’ll be picked on tomorrow,” said Saneeaa Shah, a student of O-4 at DHA-I, who is representing Italy on the economy committee. Shah was referring to the economic slowdown Italy has suffered over the past few years.
Shah and her other friends at the Italy stall said they had prepared for the discussions by reading up news reports and articles published on the web.
Meanwhile, next to the Global Village, the organising committee had prepared a separate arena complete with a dance floor-cum-catwalk for the opening ceremony and cultural show. Students dressed in the costumes of their respective representative countries danced to the music of those countries, backed by their cheering and applauding fellow students.
The event will end on Saturday with a theme dinner, Niaz said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2013.