The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) has, for the first time, been represented at the Model United Nations in New York City. Earlier this month, Yusra Zaheer, a 21 year old biotechnology senior, travelled to the United States to take part in the prestigious academic competition.
Speaking about her experience, Yusra stated, “Travelling to New York has always been one of my dreams. When I heard about the upcoming Model United Nations, I was determined to take part. I informed the university who decided to sponsor my trip: that is something for which I will be eternally grateful.
“It was better than I could have ever imagined. The international exposure not only opened my eyes to the world, but I found myself developing strong, positive characteristics such as patience, independence and confidence. I had to speak in front of many individuals from all parts of the world, and was proud to introduce myself as an AURAK student, representing my university on an international stage.”
At the conference, which took place at United Nations Headquarters, participants learn about diplomacy and international relations, and are encouraged to utilize teamwork, critical thinking, public-speaking and writing skills, in order to solve complex issues facing the international community.
“I was assigned Croatia and had to address the issue of anti-personnel landmines and provide resolutions as completely eradicate them. Not only did I become more informed on the science behind landmines, my eyes were opened to the fact that people all over the world face serious issues which effect their daily lives.”
Discussing her week in the U.S., Yusra claimed that the most enriching aspect was “meeting students from all walks of life, interacting and exchanging ideas and speaking on behalf of one country while belonging to another. I now see the world from a different perspective and am so happy to have broadened my horizons and connect with like-minded individuals.”
Despite her science-based background, she pointed out, “People found it strange that I study biotechnology, but these issues of social justice and world peace affect everyone. If I ever have the opportunity to work within the field of diplomacy in terms of finding solutions to these issues, I would definitely consider it.”
It was not all work for Yusra however. “Of course, I still had time to see the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square. All of the major tourist spots. The snow meant sight-seeing wasn’t the most practical, but it’s New York, right?”