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From the Archives: AUC Model Arab League Began 1990, First in Region

Marking the return of the League of Arab States to its permanent headquarters in Cairo, the first Model Arab League in the Middle East and North African region took place at AUC on November 8 to 12, 1990.

The Political Science Association and the Student Union at AUC, under the leadership of Professor Earl (Tim) Sullivan had begun planning the conference in the spring of 1990, but the agenda was altered following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August to focus on finding solutions to the crisis. This served as a “concrete and meaningful context to illustrate to participants the strengths and weaknesses of the Arab League as an organization,” said Jan Montasser, dean of students, in 1991.

In addition to discussing events in the Gulf, conference participants also developed creative proposals for modifications in the Arab League charter, rules and procedures, some of which were passed on to the official League of Arab States for consideration. They discussed topics such as the legal foundation for the Arab League; improvement of the Arab League from social, cultural and political aspects; human rights and military defense.

A journalist covering the event for Cairo Today noted that, “The rhetoric in most of the speeches was so carefully chosen that at times it was hard to believe that one was at AUC rather than in the Arab League building across Tahrir Square” (Ragab 1991). The first MAL conference brought together 63 students and researchers, most of whom were in their early 20s, from AUC and Cairo University, the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, the Shalakany Office for Legal Consultation, and the research unit in the Supreme Council for Culture and Science. Representatives from the Diplomatic Institute and the Center for Development Research attended the conference as observers. Information and photo courtesy of the University Archives References: Ragab, Ghada (January 1991). “In Another League.” Egypt Today, p. 88 - 91.