June 11-14, 2009 a student simulation of the political reality of the Middle East took place at the University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany. The goal is to foster a deeper understanding of the conflict in the Middle East.

45 European, Israeli, and Palestinian students convened and represented the key actors of the regional conflict: Egypt, the European Union, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Russia, the United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Syria and naturally the local/international media as well.

The various actors were represented in delegations, which took part in a simulation of the regional process of negotiation.

No participant represented his/her own nationality. No delegation was comprised of students from a single nationality. The hope was that this will prevent the simulation from becoming too emotionally charged, while guaranteeing a challenging experience.

Information manuals were electronically distributed to the participants one month prior to the simulation. During this month, they researched the background of the conflict and the interests of the actors involved, particularly the one they represented.

The participant manuals were created in cooperation with German, Israeli, and Palestinian professors. The initial focus of the simulation was the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by the Arab League in 2002. This, however, served as a mere starting point from which we expected paricipants to negotiate their own initiative.

We hoped that the simulation was a good opportunity to motivate and train future leaders concerned with the conflict, and push them to more productive activity.

And we think, the MES 2009 was really successful.