NEW YORK (FinalCall.com) – Seventeen high school students representing Muhammad’s University of Islam in Chicago attended the 2015 National High School Model United Nations Conference, headquartered at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan March 4-7.
The International Model United Nations Association, the sponsoring parent-body of the conference describes it as “three days of world-class problem solving.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message to the 3,800 students from 25 nations said, The three days help in “developing those diplomatic skills that will help you as you prepare for leadership in the future. Such skills have never been more important.”
“This was historical–hasn’t really sunk in yet–how important it was for our students to go to New York and compete with other great young minds from all over the world,” Student Interim-Director of the Muhammad University of Islam Jason Karriem told The Final Call.
Mr. Muhammad said preparation for the conference began at the end of October and ran through March 2. The intense training focused on strengthening MUI student positions and various resolutions, talking points, communication and even body language pointers while concentrating on the model UN committee topics. Rules briefing and resolution writing workshops were mandatory in New York for first-time delegates such as the 17 MUI students.
Also as part of their preparation the MUI students attended the Model Arab League three-day conference in Chicago which was held at DePaul University. The Model Arab League sponsors what is considered to be a top student leadership program. The MUI students represented two nations, Libya and the United Arab Emirates, at the Model Arab League while they represented the nation of Haiti at the model UN conference.
“We have been able to see and understand that people throughout the world have similar issues,” stated Sharriah Muhammad, 17. Too often the resolutions offered are not adequate for the UN to be able to properly address the issues, she added.
“The Model Arab League conference prepared us for how to better deal with introducing resolutions, so we were able at times to be ahead of the pack here,” added Tyre Hakim, 18. Nafeesah Muhammad, 17, said their preparation leading into New York gave her a “better sense of confidence especially when it came to speaking before 100 people.” Tahirah Muhammad, 17, and Aminah Muhammad, 15, agreed that at first the idea of coming to NYC for an international conference was a bit intimidating, but “their preparation made things go smoothly.”
Mareshah Muhammad, an English teacher at MUI, noted how important it was for the students to understand the need for developing discipline needed for in-depth research and analysis.
Jeniece Muhammad, another instructor at MUI, explained that she had attended the model UN as a high school student, and while sending 17 MUI delegates “was an ambitious undertaking,” it is important that they see themselves as future leaders of a new world.
“Here at this conference our students learn diplomacy and proper interaction between their peers and that the solutions to the world’s problems are right in their hands with the core principles of the Nation of Islam as taught to us by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Hon. Minister Farrakhan,” she told The Final Call.
Neeyah Muhammad, 17, a 12th grader explained that the power of the teachings of freedom, justice and equality became evident during a session of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee when delegates opposed to her position referred to her and others as “fascists and imperialists.”
“Some of our delegation came from nations such as New Zealand, and they wanted to pair Haiti with the United States in the bi-lateral alliance our committee was proposing,” explained Neeyah Muhammad. “While we ignored the name calling, we realized that pairing Haiti with the U.S. would not bring freedom, justice and equality to the people of Haiti and that they should be paired with a nation such as Cuba who shares the same cultural foundation.”
The bottom line, said Neeyah Muhammad, was delegates from developed nations believed that developing nations must only be paired with the industrial North to become self-sustainable, and that is not true.
The meeting with the Deputy Permanent Ambassador of Lebanon Caroline Ziade at the United Nations was another moment that demonstrated the timeliness and importance of the lectures by Min. Farrakhan on “The Intensifying Universal Cry for Justice,” according to Jason Karriem.
“Listening to her explain how the Lebanese are demanding freedom, justice and equality from Israel, who occupies a large part of Lebanon’s territory echoed Min. Farrakhan’s words, and further demonstrated to our students the importance of the teachings of the Nation of Islam,” Jason Karriem said.
Azeez Muhammad, 17, explained that the experience of attending the model UN “sharpened” his skills and would be useful in the future as he endeavors to join the Student Ministry of the Nation of Islam. He plans to study chemical engineering in college.
Tyre Hakim, Nafeesah and Nehemiah, her twin brother, all expressed a desire to include the conference on their college applications in the future.
The committees included the United Nations Environmental Program, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Health Organization, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Legal Committee, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, Organization of American States, High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Economic and Financial Committee, Special Political and Decolonization Committee, Disarmament and International Security Committee.
Participating MUI model UN delegates were Abdul Muhammad, Khalifah Muhammad, Mikkail Muhammad, Jalil Muhammad, Tyre Muhammad, Nehemiah Muhammad, Nafeesah Muhammad, Aminah Muhammad, Korrana Muhammad, Asia Marie Muhammad, Ameera Muhammad, Yejide Muhammad, Neeyah Muhammad, Sharriah Muhammad, Alimmah Muhammad, Tairah Muhammad and Neeyah Muhammad.
Participating MUI staff and chaperones were Jason Karriem, Abdul Muhammad, Ahmad Muhammad, Mareshah Muhammad, Shahidah Muhammad, Naadhera Muhammad, Jeniece Muhammad and Tamecka Karriem.
Student Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, the New York representative of Min. Farrakhan, spoke briefly to the MUI delegation. Afterwards he told The Final Call “conferences such as the (model UN) exposes the children of our nation to the universality of the teachings of the Nation of Islam,” said Min. Abdul Hafeez Muhammad.