By Adam Aberbach (YES 2019–2020, Morocco, placed with PAX in Menasha, WI)
My name is Adam Aberbach and I am a YES alumnus from Casablanca, Morocco. I have always been interested in international relations, and my exchange year in the United States helped it grow into a passion. I recently participated in an amazing conference called the African Leadership Academy Model African Union (ALAMAU). The gathering is normally held in Johannesburg, South Africa, but due to COVID-19, it was held virtually from March 18-21. This year’s conference theme was “Fostering Resilience Post-COVID-19,” and about 1,000 students participated.
On the official website, ALAMAU describes itself as “a simulation of the African Union, providing a platform for young leaders to explore the inner workings of the African Union, and to practice international diplomacy by assuming the roles of African leaders.” However, I think it is so much more than just that. For me, it was an opportunity to debate with other students who might have different ideas but share the same leadership qualities and curiosity. Each student participated in an international diplomacy simulation and acted as a delegate for their assigned country.
I was assigned to be the delegate of Seychelles and was tasked to the Specialized Technical Committee on Education. Delegates proposed certain topics of discussion, and then they debated on these various topics. The closing ceremony featured African talents from different parts of the continent, each expressing their culture in a unique way. It was such an inspiring opportunity and a very rewarding experience!