The Advisors to Emir Habibullah Khan, 1914

Dear Delegates,

I am excited to welcome you to HNMUN 2018! My name is Sofia Garcia and I will be your Director for the Advisors to Emir Habibullah Khan, 1914.

Before Harvard, I attended a small Catholic high school in Kansas where I did policy debate. I decided to try something new in college, which led me to get involved with Model United Nations. In addition to staffing HNMUN I will also be working HMUN, HMUN China, and continue to compete on the traveling Model UN team. I also am involved with the Harvard Catholic Student Association and during the school year I work as a peer advisor for freshmen. In my free time I like to play flute, watch movies with friends, or bake. My intended concentration is Economics and I’d like to get a secondary in mathematics. Before I graduate Harvard I hope to speak Spanish fluently and travel as much as possible through student groups.

Through this committee you will explore what it means to be a border state as well as engaging in balancing complex foreign affairs with domestic issues. The Emir will need your guidance in order to strengthen Afghanistan’s future; I hope you are up for the challenge.

I look forward to meeting you in February 2018. If you have any questions before then please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Sofia Garcia
Director, Advisors to Emir Habibullah Khan, 1914
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HNMUN! My name is Frankie Hill, and I will be serving as your Crisis Director for Afghanistan 1914.

I am a junior here at Harvard, studying Government with a citation in Spanish. I’m originally from Western Michigan, and I’m very excited to meet you all. In my free time, I enjoy overanalyzing the political climate of fictional movie universes, writing poems, telling stories, and listening to 1960s protest folk.

Along with HNMUN, I also staff Harvard’s high school conference (HMUN), our on-campus conference (MSC), and travel on our competing MUN team (ICMUN). This summer I taught Model UN at the Model UN Institute, and in general, I spend far too much time simulating international diplomatic crises.

I’m very excited to be working with Sofia this year to bring you the court of Emir Habibullah Khan. This is a transformative time for Afghanistan, and I’m excited to explore the themes of colonialism, modernization, and the concept of the Border State.

I can’t wait to meet you all at HNMUN 2018. Good luck to you all!

Frankie Hill
Crisis Director, Advisors to Emir Habibullah Khan, 1914
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Through the 19th Century, Afghanistan fought the First and Second Anglo Afghan Wars against the British to help establish its sovereignty. At the end of the second war, the British withdrew their troops and recognized Emir Abdur Rahman Khan as the leader of Afghanistan. However because of Afghanistan’s location between British India and Russia, the British continued to closely monitor Afghan affairs and arranged to pay the Emir’s government for following British approved foreign policies. Emir Adbur ruled strictly and consolidated power in his central government to further support his reign. After his death in 1901 he was succeeded by his eldest son Habibullah Khan.

Habibullah Khan believed that Afghanistan needed to modernize in order to establish itself more in the global world. He began a series of reforms that included building schools, a hospital, strengthening the economy, and investing in modern communication and transportation infrastructure. The Emir faced opposition from tribal and religious leaders when he attempted to modernize some of the laws and this tension continued through the rest of his reign. Additionally, the Emir attempted to balance relations with both Russia and the British Empire. The Emir attempted to play both sides of the issue as frequently as possible though outwardly he was seen as in support of the British. However when the Emir was not invited to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, where the British and Russians reach an agreement about their involvement in Afghanistan, the Emir was largely upset. Furthermore, the country’s Islamic beliefs create a natural sympathy toward The Ottomans as the world divides itself up into alliances. It is at this point in the summer of 1914 that the Emir has called upon his advisors to help him decide how to lead the country forward. Many difficult decisions are ahead the most pressing of which include: should Afghanistan join an alliance or continue to remain neutral? How can the Emir continue his modernization? Is it possible to fully address the country’s international and domestic concerns or will one need to be ignored so the other can be resolved?

This committee’s decisions will have impacts not only on Afghanistan, but also on the world as the 20th century progresses. Delegates will need to be focused and united in order to steer Afghanistan through this era of international turmoil and change.