LAU Simulation Models Celebrate Their Most Successful Year

Delegates and secretariat members were recognized for their contributions to youth leadership and civic engagement.

By Luther J. Kanso

Exceeding the impressive figures from last year, the LAU Simulation Models concluded their most successful year with a ceremony honoring 450 delegates—of whom 238 received scholarships—and 150 secretariat members on June 12 at the Byblos campus.

The event celebrated this year’s culmination of the Global Classrooms Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Model European Union, Model Good Governance, and Global Classrooms International Model United Nations in New York programs.

These programs incentivize LAU students to take the lead in organizing ‘youth training youth’ initiatives, all united in the vision and mission of the Outreach, Leadership, and Empowerment Department at LAU under Student Development and Enrollment Management.

In line with its commitment to nurturing talent, LAU rewarded high-school students who demonstrated key skills in the simulation programs with 25 and 50 percent scholarships and recognitions.

Addressing the delegates and secretariat members, LAU President Michel E. Mawad reminded them that “your participation in one or more of these programs speaks to your civic-mindedness, inquisitiveness and willingness to be engaged in combining a life of learning with advocacy and activism.” 


He emphasized that these qualities will benefit them throughout their lives, as they will provide ongoing opportunities for growth, sustained experiential learning, and “the continuous development of your mind, character, public speaking skills and leadership.”

The simulation models empower LAU students through the roles they assume in diplomacy, conflict resolution, teamwork, research and writing as administrators, teachers, mentors and public speakers. They emerge as confident and inspirational leaders who are well-equipped to secure top jobs, gain admission to leading universities, and receive global awards.

Highlighting the skills demonstrated by the delegates in negotiation and critical thinking, Conference Management Associate Alexander El Khawaja noted that “for 18 years, the LAU simulation models have been a beacon of knowledge in fostering a deeper understanding of international issues and empowering young individuals to become confident public speakers, skilled negotiators and informed global citizens.”


Project Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) for Lebanon and Syria Aret Demirci commended the now-fifth year of partnership between FNF and LAU, which is underpinned by their shared values of freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity, he said.


“These programs have been instrumental in empowering the youth to steer their country toward a brighter and more prosperous future, especially in a world where these hopes are increasingly challenged,” he said.

Through education and cooperation, he added, students can not only build societies that uphold and cherish liberal values in the face of global challenges but also underscore the need for “renewed vigilance and resilience in safeguarding global democracy.”

Echoing these sentiments, Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Management Elise Salem acknowledged the transformative impact of the simulation models on the delegates, praising the dedication of the LAU secretariat members who volunteer each year to mentor and train them—many of whom go on to excel academically and professionally.


“These delegates do not just learn rules of procedure and their designated country’s positions on real-life challenges, but they also experience what it is like to be included in a very diverse community, to speak publicly, to negotiate and caucus in groups and to present and persuade in a formal conference,” she said.

In a statement thanking the secretariat members for their efforts, Dr. Salem congratulated them for “maintaining such a robust relationship with hundreds of public and private schools in Lebanon and across the region,” highlighting how these programs succeed because of empowered students.

Lead Outreach, Leadership and Empowerment Manager Ghina Harb also praised the lasting influence of the program on both LAU and the wider educational community, especially in terms of providing life skills related to responsible citizenship, peaceful coexistence and open-mindedness. “What a pride it is to be part of the LAU community paving the way as pioneers of peace,” she said.


Secretary-General Carina Joseph, an LAU student majoring in architecture, shared Harb’s view and expressed her gratitude to the advisors, parents and delegates for their commitment and passion, urging them to both “continue advocating for social justice and peace, and to carry the lessons learned from the simulation models into their future endeavors.”


Proud delegates stepped onto the stage to receive their hard-earned accolades: the Secretary-General Award, recognizing leadership and diplomacy; the Diplomacy Award, highlighting negotiation and collaboration skills; and the Position Paper/Country Statement Award, celebrating the highest-quality written submissions.