Tales of HMUNers

Today, a few weeks after coming home from Boston, we are all immensely proud of what we achieved this year. Indeed, thanks our teachers and of course our own hard work, we participated in this amazing experience that we call HMUN.

Seventeen students of our High school, from Seconde to Terminale, represented Tunisia in this Harvard Model United Nations community, as the only North African located school.

Although some think that the HMUN trip is only a « fun » trip, where students discover a beautiful country and a famous American town, we would like to highlight the fact that this experience is all about hard work. (but of course a lot of fun doing so!)

During this huge role play, thirteen of us represented Nigeria in the General Assembly, and therefore in multiple different committees in which we were 200 (for example the Legal Committee, or the Social Humanitarian and Cultural committee) and 5 of us were in what we call Specialized Agencies, in which we were only 15 delegates.

Shopping? Sightseeing? Forget it!

Every single one of us spent 8 hours a day until 11. 30 at night debating, dealing, writing drafts and resolutions, role playing, but more importantly; gaining more and more knowledge. We, as simple students, got to pretend to be UN delegates, competing with students from all around the world. The knowledge that we got from this is huge; from the simple fact of talking to all of those international students, or from the research that we had to prepare: we got to learn so much from these few days.

Even though this experience is a pretty difficult one, it is surely the most amazing memory of our student life, as we can see throughout these testimonies:

« When we got home, everyone thought that this trip was a holiday for us students, and that truly made me laugh. Of course, I will always remember those moments during which we all bonded, all laughed together, or during which we visited Harvard for example. But what we truly can’t forget are those 8 hours spent in that room, debating with the best MUNers from all around the world… What an amazing experience, that will mark me for the rest of my life » Lilia Brahim, 2nd

« Personally, I found and I still find this experience one of the most wonderful and marvelous ones I have ever lived. Meeting new people, discussing issues that very clearly plague our global community and also trying to find solutions to them. All of this may look simple or even easy, but I can assure you it’s not. We all agree on the point that hard work is mandatory, so to all of those who are willing to join the adventure: you already know what’s coming next! These words aren’t maent to scare you, but I think that many people downgrade the importance of work in such cases. Nevertheless, I can assure you that the topics are so interesting that you won’t get bored for a single minute. To conclude, I want to thank our professors for helping us and allowing us to attend such a conference that we will never forget. »Molka Ben Khamsa, 1ere S

« When starting HMUN, I was more than determined that if I hadn’t achieved at least one positive thing, I couldn’t let go of it. Because that’s what it implies to be part of it, playing along, having different strategies on your mind 24/7, and most of all, being over excited when it comes to meeting new people from all over the world.

Something that may sound surprising is, once it’s over, you come home with something new, and that is probably a contact list filled with new phone numbers and names. People I met there weeks ago are still the ones I talk to today, and who knows, maybe they’ll be the ones I’ll meet again someday in an upcoming MUN.

We tend to forget that while people may share the same views, they can still have different solutions according to what is « right » or « fair » to them. So being on the same « side » is not enough, and that is when one learns to amend some rules, to discuss, while having enough impact on all those who are listening. » Line Hamdi, TL

« HMUN definitely was the best experience of my life. It was wonderful at all the stages. It gave me the opportunity to get more self-confident and to increase my English level but more than that, it gave me the possibility to meet with wonderful persons coming from all around the world and share with them my culture, my Tunisia.  Beside all the tremendous hard work that we all accomplished from the very beginning of this exciting adventure, we all spent amazing, entertaining and funny moments. We met each week and prepared ourselves by debating, by working on our background guides and that allowed us to be, more or less, ready and prepared to face the best MUNers of the world. Debating during 20 long hours in 3 days with them allowed me to see directly and precisely developed and rich debating skills but also strategies and it permitted me to spur myself at the top and to do my best to impress and impose my points. During the first session, I was afraid and overawe because of the huge delegates number in my committee: We were 400 and I had to stand and make a speech in front of this enormous audience. But fear has been quickly transformed into motivation and excitement.

Aside from HMUN experience, the trip in itself was amazing and I keep unforgettable memories of our intern delegation moments but also of Boston and Harvard that are fairy places to visit and discover.

HMUN allowed me to change, to become a better person, a person more concerned by our world, a person more open-minded and a proud person. » Mehdi Khalsi, 1ere S

« An experience of a lifetime:

No one can deny that the HMUN experience will take a lot of your time and energy. The key to a delegate’s success is an inexhaustible source of motivation. But you will fall in love with this challenging, life-changing experience. Even before the conference (especially before the conference), you will suffer from all the symptoms of falling in love. I assure you that you that you will be constantly daydreaming about the project, scratching the fall of the Berlin Wall date or the Korean motto on your notebook. You will dream of the Security Council, only when your brain will allow you to set free from your working sleepless nights, of course. You will call your fellow delegates by the name of the country they represent. You will print your HMUN invitation, frame it and proudly put it in the wall of your room. You will doubt of your capacities, a lot. Reading articles about geopolitics will give you butterflies in your stomach. You will hear at least twice a day « Is what you’re doing enriching? Are you actually productive? What are your priorities?! » from your relatives. You will start all your sentences with « honorable chairmanship » and maybe suffer from the « Alain Delon » syndrome burying the « I » pronoun. You will certainly be the one talking about President Reagan and Gorbatchev or the independence of Catalonia, you will start a passionate relationship with pens and notebooks as laptops are not allowed in the conference rooms. You will be anxious about your VISA/ESTA procedures, will harass your sponsors for providing financial resources for the trip, will have an enormous amount of administrative forms and will lose two thirds of them. You will feel like a real ambassador working in the plane, rehearsing your show and marking further researches. And when your debate seasons will start, you will feel like entering in a gladiator arena, ready to fight for your interests, with words instead of fists, and rhetoric instead of weapons. You will certainly practice you drama skills, and will have to manage to seem confident even when you’re dying inside. You will be asked to show your country of origin on a map (Tunisia, not Indonesia! TUNISIA!). Over and above, you will say goodbye to fashion at the moment you will discover Boston weather forecast, you will have to look after each other in your delegation group, will face all sort of betrayals, lobbying, lies, rejection and connivance in your committee just like you were in a Turkish drama. Sometimes you will feel inevitably misunderstood by your ‘kinfolks’, who won’t always see your hard work and dedication. But most of all, I urge you to keep in mind that you will find a family within your delegation group, and family means no one is left behind, you will see the sun rising over the Boston sky, you will master skills that school will never teach you, you will discover other mindsets, other political view points, all gathered for the save of achieving world peace and prosperity. 

Dear future delegate, you will fall in love with HMUN experience, because as the ancients used to say: MUN, عقليّة. » Nadia Zargouni, 1ere S, passionate and faithful MUNer

« If HMUN stands for Harvard Model of the United Nations, it is more for me the acronym for Heartfelt Model of a Unique eNcounter. This year’s model wasn’t my first, but being able to be part of a larger group of delegates, gave me the opportunity of getting a wide range of experiences, exchanges, knowledge and ways of approaching issues. Being a bigger group of delegate, made sometimes communication harder, but made solidarity wider. We walked into HMUN, being an apprehensive yet strong and proud PMF representatives on a mini international MUN stage. We worked together before the trip to Boston and within the trip in the lobby halls and hotel rooms to get ready for the simulation. HMUN is sure for working motivated and devoted students that were selected, but it is in no means an elitist club. I do say this because I have witnessed students that weren’t perfect in English or in mastering the MUN rules, but had the chance to learn by experience how to be better English speakers and diplomats. HMUN is a learning experience, that every motivated student in High School should try being a part of. HMUNLY. » Rania Bachraoui, TES

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