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Bessma Momani

Professor of Political Science

Bessma MomaniAfter teaching Introduction to the Middle East (PSCI 257 and HIST 230) for more than 10 years, with approximately 90 students every year, I felt students still wanted an experiential course to truly understand the challenges of the Middle East. So this past summer, I decided to take approximately 20 students to attend the Model Arab League in Washington DC. This was a great opportunity to see experiential learning at its finest. Political Science research into experiential learning is heavily focused on the use of simulations like Model United Nations, NATO, European Union where students role-play in either international organizations, parliaments, or crisis situations. Upon arrival in Washington, DC we attended a lecture at the Brookings Institution, featuring Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who spoke about financing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, along with the issues and role of the IMF in the Greek financial crisis. Students toured the city taking in sites such as the outside of the White House and the Treasury Department, and received private tours of the CTV News studio and the Canadian Embassy. Students were also able to see policymakers talk at prominent places like the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Middle East Institute. Our week ended with the Model Arab League conference and awards were given to three of our Waterloo students that had done particularly well. This was a great teaching moment and a happy day for University of Waterloo.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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