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by Daniyal Saud, UN Club VP

The U.N. Club @ HPU won the Brian John Hayden Grant for National Model United Nation (NMUN) Competition 2008. The announcement came on Jan. 4 and will support the HPU delegation participation at the NMUN Conference at the headquarters of the U.N. in New York City this April 20-27. The NMUN Conference is a simulation of U.N. procedure, involving delegations of colleges and universities from all over the world. Each represent an assigned country at the conference. The U.N. Club will consist of four students—Ashkan Amiri, Britta Klint, Anna Niden, and Daniyal Saud—they are led by Professor Grace Cheng (Political Science) of the College of International Studies. During the week of the conference, the HPU delegation will voice concerns of their assigned country, and play a key role in establishing resolutions for the Middle East peace process and the war on terrorism.

The club’s Head Delegate Daniyal Saud (B.A. International Studies, B.S. Biochemistry) says that HPU has not consistently participated in the NMUN. A delegation from the U.N. Club participated in at the NMUN Conference in 2003 and won the Outstanding Delegation Award. But the club has not participated in any NMUN Conferences since. Recieving the Hayden Grant for this year’s NMUN Conference is a tremendous achievement. Only four U.S. colleges and four international colleges are awarded grants of $500-$1000. HPU and the University of Alaska - Fairbanks were the only U.S. colleges to win $1000 awards.

Saud says, “There was a lot of pressure when we were writing the grant proposal. With no funding, every step was and is important. I honestly didn’t expect to win $1000, simply because it was very competitive, with 266 colleges applying but only two grants for U.S. colleges.” Professor Cheng says the delegation deserves recognition for winning this award and the group has put great effort into preparing for the conference. The delegation will be representing Qatar at the upcoming conference, and as part of its preparation, they have secured a meeting with Qatar’s permanent mission to the U.N. in New York City for a briefing on Qatar’s positions on the issues on the U.N.’s agenda this year.

For now, they prepare to fundraise for their expensive trip to New York, as the cost for five individuals to go to the competition is about $5,000.



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