Taroudant, Morocco - The North Africa International Model United Nations organized an international conference in the faculty of letter and human sciences in Marrakesh, from September 25 to 26, 2014, under the theme "Human Development, Industry and Education What Relationship?"
Taroudant, Morocco – The North Africa International Model United Nations organized an international conference in the faculty of letter and human sciences in Marrakesh, from September 25 to 26, 2014, under the theme “Human Development, Industry and Education What Relationship?”
Unlike the usual Model UN conferences, the Marrakesh event integrated workshops and presentations given by distinguished university professors. In his presentation, Mr. Abdellah Elhaloui, university professor at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh, whom we did not have the chance to interview, gave a lively presentation on creativity and innovation.
To shed more lights on this international event, Morocco World News talked with Mr Mohamed Taweh to discuss and learn more about NAIMUN and its main activities, future projects and how this initiative help youth develop a good understanding of the world issues and the rule of procedures in UN.
MWN: Would you please introduce yourself?
Mohammed Taweh: I am Mohammed Taweh, the president of North Africa International Model United Nations.
MWN: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea to create NAIMUN?
Mohammed Taweh: The idea started in 2011 when I was actively involved in Model United Nations (MUN). I have travelled to several countries and met young people, most of them from North Africa, who were actively engaged in MUN in their countries. When I look back, I see there is only one MUN conference in Morocco, which is in Marrakesh. I met their president in France, and it inspired me. Therefore, I thought I could do something not only for Morocco, but also for all of North Africa. I used my contacts and started working on this project with many dedicated team members from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, which took a year of hard work.
MWN: Well, I see that you have gained a lot of experience from your regular participations in MUN.
Mohammed Taweh: Exactly, I have been to many Model United Nations meetings, and the one I did in Qatar inspired me to bring this experience to Morocco.
MWN– Are you here in Morocco to complete your studies?
Mohammed Taweh: Yes, I am here in Morocco studying at the faculty of medicine.
MWN: Is this why you opted to launch your program in Morocco?
Mohammed Taweh: To explain my background, I am from Liberia, but since I am now living in Morocco I would love to engage Moroccans in this experience. Now that we have organized this conference in Marrakesh and many Moroccans attended, there is a significant chance that participants will think of ways to implement a MUN program in their schools and universities. If each of these participants tries to implement a MUN program in their own school, don’t you think that it will help other students be aware and understand the rules and procedures of the UN? To bring young people together is the best thing to do to promote cultural understanding and help one another to practicably understand international policies.
MWN: There is a call from the Moroccan government to involve youth in politics. Do you think that meetings held by NAIMUN could help integrate youth into politics?
Mohammed Taweh: That is very a good question. At the end of this conference, we are going to introduce our upcoming project. It is about Youth Policy and Education. The majority of young people in Morocco are not involved with NGOs and in government policies in general. They do not have the means to engage positively in politics, and this is probably due to a lack of information. Through this project, we are trying to support them and help them actively participate in politics and raise awareness on what is happening at the UN.
MWN: I see that most of the speeches and discussions and informal sessions use the English language. Do you think this is done for a reason?
Mohammed Taweh: We are trying to enhance the use of the English language. I read on Morocco World News the other day that Lahcen Daoudi, the Moroccan Minister of Higher Education, has stressed the importance of using English in Moroccan universities as a language of science and scientific research.
MWN– Since you are enhancing the use of English language. Do you get any help whatsoever from the US or the UK?
Mohammed Taweh: Normally what they do for us is they give us their approval. They give us necessary documentation and help us contact potential international sponsors. Nevertheless, when it comes to financial support, we do not get anything from the US or the UK. We have contacted them before. It is possible, but it will be a long process.
MWN: Did you receive any help from the Moroccan government, a Moroccan political party, or an NGO?
Mohammed Taweh: The government is not supportive of youth international events. We received limited financial support from individuals, but not from the government. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the dean of the University of Alqadi Aiad in Marrakesh, who help us a lot.
We have contacted around seven ministries, but we did not receive any help, even though such events will boost Moroccan culture, tourism, and help Moroccans meet with other international students.
MWN: I noticed that there are no local or national media covering this international event. Why?
Mohammed Taweh: Frankly, the national media asked us for money to cover the event, but unfortunately we can’t afford to pay them. We contacted 2M, MFM radio, Hit radio, etc., and they agreed, but to our dismay, they informed us later that we have to pay them in order to cover the event.
The fact that we are associated with the UN leads the media to believe that we have a lot of money.
MWN: Can you give me a general overview of the nationalities of the attendees?
Mohammed Taweh: We have hosted 200 participants, including 50 nationals from Algeria, Tunisa, Egypt, Fiji, Liberia, Serbia, Siri Lanka, the UK, Ghana, and the US.
MWN: I heard that some attendees complained about the “lack of organization”. Is this true?
Mohammed Taweh: We have to admit that organizing an international conference is not something you can do easily. We have been working very hard as a team to make this happen with our limited budget. We have been doing our best to make sure that everyone is satisfied. However, we have to admit that we have some faults, and I am sure we can overcome them in future events.
MWN: Thank you very much Mr. Mohamed Taweh. Do you have anything else to say?
Mohammed Taweh: I would like to thank Morocco World News for covering our event. You are the only international media outlet that came to us without asking for money. You have written about our conference before, and we would like to thank you very much for what you did for us. We would like you to be one of our future media partners.
Photo courtesy: Abderrahim Boualy
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