The battle of words and the sound of murmurs was the highlight of the morning for most of the people present for this MUN. Model United Nations or MUN is a form of debating and forms an interesting way of educating children of the ideas of diplomacy, international relations, the role of the United Nations. Apart from this, it also raises awareness of current events such as feminism and the various other issues such as the Israeli Palestine conflict and the economic crisis in Greece.
The MUN began with the chairs addressing the different nations present and the different delegates in the committees. The topic for this years’ MUN was the role and importance of women over the years. Lea and Arnav were quite excited about the number of different interpretations that could be made from this topic. After all, there was so much to discuss. Especially as the country they represented was Egypt, they had so much material to debate with.
The debate began with the candidates addressing the different women’s issues with various committees fighting for and against the different roles of women in the community. Lea stood up and with great enthusiasm tried to rebuttal what an Iranian delegate had said about why, in the middle east, ruling a nation was considered more of a man's job. "Excuse me?," Lea exclaimed. "Women in Egyptian culture have, for many decades in fact, proven more competent than most men have. Take the example of Hatshepsut itself. Queen Hatshepsut reigned over Egypt for more than 20 years. She served as queen alongside her husband, Thutmose II, but after his death, claimed the role of pharaoh while acting as regent to her step-son, Thutmose III. She reigned peaceably, building temples and monuments, resulting in the flourish of Egypt."
Arnav stood up and added, "Apart from this,Hatshepsut established the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, thereby building the wealth of the eighteenth dynasty. She oversaw the preparations and funding for a mission to the Land of Punt. This trading expedition to Punt was roughly during Hatshepsut's ninth year of reign. It set out in her name with five ships, each measuring 70 feet (21 m) long bearing several sails and accommodating 210 men that included sailors and 30 rowers. Many trade goods were bought in Punt, notably frankincense and myrrh.Her name means “foremost of noblewomen.” How can you even say the women of Egypt were incompetent."
Having got the support from Arnav on the matter, Lea's confidence grew. She stood up and backed up Arnav's point by adding, "She was one of the greatest builders in one of the greatest Egyptian dynasties. She raised and renovated temples and shrines from the Sinai to Nubia. The four granite obelisks she erected at the vast temple of the great god Amun at Karnak were among the most magnificent ever constructed. She commissioned hundreds of statues of herself and left accounts in stone of her lineage, her titles, her history, both real and concocted, even her thoughts and hopes, which at times she confided with uncommon candour.
She was careful to respect the conventions under which previous queens had handled political affairs while juvenile offspring learned the ropes. But before long, signs emerged that Hatshepsut's regency would be different. Early reliefs show her performing kingly functions such as making offerings to the gods and ordering up obelisks from red granite quarries at Aswan. After just a few years she had assumed the role of "king" of Egypt, supreme power in the land.
Under Hatshepsut’s reign, Egypt prospered. Unlike other rulers in her dynasty, she was more interested in ensuring economic prosperity and building and restoring monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia than in conquering new lands.
She built the temple Djeser-djeseru ("holiest of holy places"), which was dedicated to Amon and served as her funerary cult, and erected a pair of red granite obelisks at the Temple of Amon at Karnak, one of which still stands today. Hatshepsut also had one notable trading expedition to the land of Punt in the ninth year of her reign. The ships returned with gold, ivory and myrrh trees, and the scene was immortalised on the walls of the temple."
Having heard all of this, the Iranian delegate, sat down embarrassed. Lea continued, "How therefore can you make a statement as such. Women are empowering. They inspire. They are one of the main reasons the world is what it is today. Egypt housed one of the most prominent women in the world."
The Iranian debater sat down stunned not having a rebuttal of his own. United Kingdom took lead from this and highlighted the work of Margaret Thatcher-their very own ex prime minister who's works of the falklands wars surely supported their point. All in all, the day end very well.