We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars

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Oscar Wilde once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Many of us would like to believe that those shiny, sparkling dots are shooting our fate. Among st those manyI believe, there are few who are squinting at those stars a little harder as if they were making the stars write a fate they envisage for themselves. I like to refer to this as a Metaphor for those few who take the leap and make a mark for themselves.

Roll-call taken, decorum set, placards placed, seats taken, debate open!

Six of Westford University College’s students made the most of the opportunity at the Model United Nations (MUN) held at the Herriot Watt University, UAE (Watt MUN 2019). This three-day educational simulation allowed the students to role-play as delegates representing counties. Unlike a typical classroom theory understanding the MUN puts to test the delegates diplomacy, general knowledge, critical thinking, negotiation skills, debating and speaking skills, teamwork and leadership abilities.

Behind the outstanding performance of our delegates trails two months long dedication, hard work and a lot of research. “The heart and soul of good writing is research, you should write not just what you know but what you find out about as well. I am Zainab Sayed and as a delegate for the Watt MUN 2019, I got the opportunity to represent Egypt. Our work began from researching for position papers that could state our counties stance on the topics given. As the reading and researching became rigorous, I realized just how many issues I was going to deal with during the event. By the hour, I could see myself getting stronger with research. I haven’t enjoyed reading as much. I could represent Egypt of the agenda of Crypt o currencies and Water Crisis in the MENA with some great points. All this was only possible due to quality research and sufficient reading.”

The Watt MUN 2019 called for delegates to come to a resolution for two very burning topics-

1. Crypt o Currencies and ways to curb illicit trade related to it and

2. Ways to address the growing issue of water crisis in the MENA region.

Unlike other debates where participants put up a competitive and aggressive stance, the MUN is all about co-operation and negotiation. Simran Khan who represented Italy states, “While being assigned to be the delegate of Italy for this conference, it was extremely critical for me to co-operate with member nation delegates since my country had a neutral stance on both topics. It taught me what wonders can the right negotiation crack a deal with for a humanitarian cause. It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had all through my university years, because it gave me a glimpse of the real world, and what real ambassadors do to do justice to their country on an international level.  It is not something you get to experience every day.” On the other, hand Joanna James who represented Israel had diplomacy exhibited at its best. “Watt MUN 2019 has been one of the best steering experience of learning and growing. We all know about the political isolation Israel has witnessed for over years.

I had some big shoes to fill in. I was driven by a sense of responsibility of serving for the betterment of Israel. Watt MUN 2019 gave me the best platform. I feel proud to say that although in the real word Israel has been in pinning situations, in this MUN, I could get a resolution passed with the support of my member delegates. It taught me a lot about diplomacy and conflict management.” A conference and simulation such like the MUN demands experience but Aeron Victor, our first timer who represented Germany bagged a few credits and made the most of the opportunity. He says, “It was such an amazing experience. I cannot stress that enough. Initially, I was nervous to speak and participate during the conference because it was my first time and some of my fellow delegates are quite experienced already. However, with the support of very accommodating chairs and extremely friendly delegates, I gained momentum and confidence. Not only did I make new connections, I got the freaking gavel! My advice for those who want to join succeeding MUNs: get to know your country and other countries’ stance well; talk and ask a lot of questions and most importantly, have so much fun.” Respect and patience for other delegates were the fundamentals of the negotiation. Without team work passing the resolution would not have been possible.

Faris Chaudhary represented France and delegated with confidence and co-operation. He says, “There is no doubt one has to keep calm, listen and observe. I mean you could possibly have a delegate crossing your statement but I feel if you are well prepared, you can win over a tough discussion with patience and an affirming smile. A huge credit goes to Prof. Ashima Keluskar who all along supervised our work. She groomed our IQ totally.” Along with the others, Sulail Fatima affirms that, “Great danger gives birth to great resolutions. As part of being a delegate for the Watt MUN 2019, I had the honor to be a part of a great and incredible committee- ECOFIN.

In every committee, we saw there were topics that delegates were given to speak on in regards to the country that they were representing. I represented India. Countries then talked about the problems and had to come up with possible solutions. Inability to come to a resolution at the end of the discussion meant that the committee had failed. We as a team from different countries, especially Westfordians joined hands together and came up with the perfect draft resolution, which the chairs loved and passed among st all other resolutions meaning that the committee at the end of the day was a huge success thanks to our hard-work students of Westford that helped each other. It was an amazing experience as my first MUN, it helped me understand the importance of hard work and teamwork. In all, it was a pleasure to be there.” Westford University College looks forward to participate in the next MUN.

Written By

Prof. Mrs. Ashima Keluskar

Faculty, Westford University College

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