Student ambassadors represent AKA Hyderabad at IIMUN USA | Aga Khan Academies

Student ambassadors represent AKA Hyderabad at IIMUN USA

06 September 2017

Eight Academy students – Aryan Srivastava, Nabil Patel, Illyan Daruwala, Iman Rashid, Ilf Momin, Ayaan Popatiya, Freni Jivani and Shaila Nandigam – from grades 10-12 were selected to attend the India International Model United Nations held in New York City from 6-12 August 2017. IIMUN is the first and only external civil society organisation in the world to hold a full-fledged, three-day MUN Conference inside the UN Headquarters in New York. 

Students felt amply prepared for the event as most of them have played an active part in the Academy Model United Nations for several years. In January 2017, Freni Jivani participated in The Hague International MUN in Doha, Qatar. In addition, she is currently a member of the MUN executive board on campus, and is also involved in teaching effective communication and debate skills to grade 9 and 10 students.

“When I first heard that the MUN was being organised at the UN Headquarters, I knew we had to take advantage of the opportunity, as it was sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Freni. “It certainly did not disappoint. Hoisting the Indian flag on India’s 70th Independence Day – with the beautiful New York skyline and Brooklyn Bridge as our background – was truly an event to be remembered.”

On the first day, students participated in moderated caucuses about global issues such as child marriage and reproductive rights. They formed “blocs,” or allies, to create resolutions. Academy grade 11 student Nabil Patel won an award for his outstanding photography skills as part of the International Press. Congratulations!

On the second day, participants designed working papers and presented their resolutions. In doing so, they reflected critically on the issues at hand and proposed multiple solutions. The hugs and handshakes that were exchanged before every challenge that was posed, are what made the IIMUN most memorable for Academy students. They were also given tours of the UN headquarters and key sights of New York City. 

“This was an incredible learning experience for us all,” says Shaili Nandigam. “We developed more globally-minded perspectives and challenged ourselves. At the same time, we all felt proud to be Indian because our nationality unified hundreds of young students from the furthest corners of India in a foreign land. As they say, a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

Contributors - Freni Jivani and Shaili Nandigam, grade 12

Photo credit - Nabil Patel, grade 11