Baylor University Model Arab League (MAL) ‘Represented Baylor Exceptionally Well’ at Southwest Regional MAL Conference

April 26, 2017
MAT 2017

Baylor Model Arab League at the 2017 Southwest Regional Model Arab League Conference, courtesy photo

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WACO, Texas (April 26, 2017) – Baylor University’s Model Arab League participated in the competition – and won awards – at the recent Southwest Regional Model Arab League Conference hosted by Texas A&M Commerce.
“Baylor University’s MAL team represented Baylor exceptionally well at the 2017 Southwest Regional MAL Conference,” said Megan Starkweather, a senior international studies/Arabic and Middle East studies major from Tulsa, Okla. “Each member displayed professionalism, diplomacy and a thorough knowledge of the region.”
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the MAL students and head faculty advisor, Mark Long, this semester, said Lynn Whitcomb, Ph.D., lecturer in Arabic. “It was gratifying to see our two delegations, representing the member states of Bahrain and Oman, and a number of individuals new to this type of competition perform so well at the conference.”
Baylor’s Bahrain team took home the Overall Outstanding Delegation Award and several individual members took home Outstanding and Distinguished Delegate awards, including Hannah Byrd, Lama Zakzok, Megan Starkweather, Katie Nichols and Kyle Desrosiers.
“This model diplomatic exercise is a great way for interested students to learn more about the region and cultivate important ‘soft skills,’ which will strengthen their resumes and serve them well in many facets of their lives beyond Baylor,” Whitcomb said.
The competition featured a strong field of 17 colleges and universities representing 22 countries.
“It was remarkable to see just how well prepared and well educated the fellow delegates were,” said Lama Zakzok, senior anthropology major, of Austin, Texas. “I was particularly proud of my delegation. We went with a team this year that was mostly comprised of beginners, and they did fantastic. Baylor is always expected to do great at these conferences, and I believe we showcased just how intelligent and capable our Baylor Bears are.”
“In a very short period of time, our Baylor delegation had to master an impressive range of complex issues about the contemporary Middle East,” said Mark Long, Ph.D., associate professor in the Honors College and MAL head faculty advisor. “They grappled with topics as diverse as the lifting of sanctions against Iran, to the weaponization of water access, to cyberwarfare. Moreover, they had also to both hone debate skills and learn the intricacies of parliamentary procedure. They were more than successful, and the team emerged as one of the winningest that Baylor has fielded over the last 15 years.”
by Kelsey Dehnel, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.