Around 3,000 teens from around the world took part in the Model UN conference in New York – an annual project which sees teens taking part in a special UN Assembly meeting where they learn about diplomacy, international relations and the UN's activity.
It took the nine participating Israeli students four months to prepare for the special occasion: They ran debate simulations, memorized information about other participating countries, researched and wrote position papers on various current events.
Incidentally, during the event's main simulation the Israelis took on the role of the Algerian delegation.
The Israeli delegation, led by the school's Vice Principal Kobi Shimshi and under the aegis of the Ramat Gan Education Administration, took on the challenge presented to the young visitors by the Norwegian delegation to the UN: Prepare a two minute video which will answer the question – "What will the world look like in 20 years".
The Ohel Shem students' vision began with a succession of harrowing images from recent decades: The atom bomb, the terror attack on the twin towers and starving children in Africa. Then they turned to seven of the world's citizens and asked them what they hope to see in 2030.
Unrealistic scenariosA worker from the Philippines asked that women receive equality in the workplace, an Italian man hoped that Africa would become a prosperous democratic continent, a little girl in a ballet outfit spoke in English asking for peace in the Middle East while a man driving a horse drawn carriage spoke in French asking for a greener world.
"We produced the clip in Israel and decided to focus on issues that concern today's world while being realistic about the future,'" explained Hadar Arel, a senior in Ohel Shem's gifted students program and a member of the Israeli delegation.
"When we got to New York and saw the movies produced by the other delegations, we knew that we made the right decision because their clips were repetitive in one way or another and there were some delegations that presented incredibly unrealistic scenarios like finding a cure for AIDS or the discovery of a new country and giving it its independence."
The crown prince of Norway presented the Israeli high school students with the award for the clip to the sounds of applause from the Assembly.
"We are extremely excited and proud to come home from the UN with this achievement and to present Ohel Shem and the State of Israel," said Arel who added that the experience has caused her to consider pursuing a career in the field: "I want to do the real thing, to be an ambassador."
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