Delegates, stand up and be recognized

Posted on March 9, 2007


My friends are – almost uniformly – Model United Nations geeks. One of them is such an MUN geek that it is actually a source of gainful (well, somewhat) employment for her. We went to the crowning pinnacle of her achievement displayed on Tuesday night, the Opening Ceremony of the 19th Cairo International Model United Nations.

I went with M, who is enamoured of all things AUC. I urge him to do an LLM there, but it’s pretty worthless if you want to go on and do a PHD or LLD. Remarkably, the rest of our friends – some 15 people – all showed up to see our friend speak, and support our other MUN friends, all looking remarkably dapper. Gratifyingly, she mentioned our long sufferings in her speech. W actually narrated a surprisingly moving documentary about the horrors of war. I’d never seen some of the footage before.

All the other attendees reminded me of myself seven years ago; uncomfortable in formal wear, excited, enjoying a mild “I’m the shit” feeling. Except the girls have gotten better looking.

The keynote speaker was Mohammed El Farnawany, the founder of CIMUN and former Senior UN staffer. He was hot – all older and fit and full-head-of-haired (come on, when is the last time you saw a forty-year-old Egyptian man who answered to this description). Regrettably, no one introduced me to him afterwards, although I heard he was single. For the duration of his excellent speech, I alternated between imagining us embarking on an intercontinental diplomatic affair (complete with me stroking his silver hair in a limo in New York) and ruminating on the difference between the speech of a seasoned professional speaker and those of some of the previous speakers, who saw fit to use words like “conceptualise” and “paradigm”. I guess I would have tried to write something similar in their position myself. Nowadays, I am a firm believer that such words are best left to the written realm. Speeches, in my modest opinion, have to be kept to the simplest of possible terms, no matter how nuanced the subject matter. I have yet to pick up, however, any ability to speak with expression, which Mr. Farnawany had well in hand.

Afterwards we all partook of Eurodeli sandwiches in the Science garden, by dint of pushing and shoving – which still resulted in only some of us getting fed. A depressingly adolescent band, “Like Jelly”, struck up, filling the air with whiny teenage boy music. So we took off to more adult climes, being in our dotage.

Posted in: friends, politics