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The 11th annual Model League of Arab States High School Conference, sponsored by Old Dominion University's Model League of Arab States (MLAS), continues Saturday, March 6, at the Webb University Center.

The program is hosted by Fran Hassencahl, director of the ODU MLAS, and sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab States (NCUSAR), the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the League of Arab States Information Center. The following high schools around the area will be participating: Salem, Kellam, Warwick, Grafton, Tabb, Kecoughtan, Woodside and Heritage.

The Model Arab League is a simulation of the League of Arab States. Students assume the role of Arab diplomats, engaging in discussions and debates to achieve consensus within a committee on issues which Arab leaders address every day. This conference simulates five committees: political affairs, economic affairs, socio-cultural affairs, security affairs and Palestinian affairs.

The participation of these high school students helps them develop public speaking, debate and diplomatic skills, as well as critical thinking. The role-playing exercise stimulates creativity and enhances knowledge of the Arab world.

"Through role-playing in a realistic setting, students gain a broader understanding of the Arab world and its important role in regional and world affairs, said John Duke Anthony, president and CEO of the NCUSAR. "Moreover, by enhancing the leadership skills students need to communicate their ideas more effectively, the model helps to raise awareness of the importance of improved U.S.-Arab relations."

For additional information on the League of Arab States and the Model Arab League, please visit the National Council of U.S.-Arab Relations Web site at http://www.ncusar.org.

This article was posted on: February 6, 2004

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