Model Arab League team takes top honors in competition

By Ann Friou
University News Service
March 29, 2011

Texas State University-San Marcos students were named the "outstanding overall delegation" for their representation of Saudi Arabia, in the regional Model Arab League (MAL) competition in Houston recently.

Twelve student delegates from Texas State debated against delegates from 14 other Texas colleges and universities, in five councils: Economic Affairs, Joint Defense, Political Affairs, Social Affairs and Palestinian Affairs. The competition was sponsored by the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the University of Houston's Honors Program.

In addition to the team's collective honor, several students received individual recognition: Daniel Burrow (Austin) was awarded "Outstanding Chair," and "honorable mention" recognition was extended to Nickolas Spencer (Atascocita) and Andrew Nelson (Spring), who represented Saudi Arabia on the Joint Defense council. Alfredo González-Benítez (Austin) and Samual Hillhouse (Wheeler) were recognized as "outstanding" for representing Saudi interests in the Political Affairs council; Maria Cortez (Katy) and Alana Torrez (Austin) were "outstanding" for their work in Social Affairs; Alexandra Hamilton ((Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) and Jenny Hart (Gruver) were "outstanding" in Economic Affairs. Other members of the winning team were Hakim Husein (Houston) and Caylie Hoffmans (Marble Falls).

By participating in MAL, students learn about the Arab world's political priorities and sharpen their skills in diplomacy and public speech. Elizabeth Bishop, a member of the Department of History, mentors the MAL team at Texas State. The team's travel to the competition was sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Education, University College, the International Studies program, the Anthropology Department and the History Department.

For more information on Model Arab League, contact Bishop at (512) 245-3747 or