2010 International Workshop

HOSTAGE CRISIS

On April 7, 2010, students in the International Economics and Cultural Affairs program participated in an educational simulation called Hostage Crisis, where they entered the fictitious world of an all-too-familiar scenario: the hijacking of an American airplane by a Middle Eastern terrorist group demanding the release of political prisoners by a neighboring country in exchange for the safe return of the US hostages. Some students played the role of terrorists in the Committee for National Struggle, while others got a taste of what it might mean to be a hostage, led blind-folded into isolation and kept uninformed as to what their government was doing to secure their release.  Other students, sequestered off in the White House, weighed the value of human life against the image of the nation and debated the respective advantages and disadvantages of violence vs negotiations. The press, meanwhile, took statements from all the groups involved and produced a broadcast  to satisfy a world eager to hear how the crisis would turn out. With the help of intermediaries, negotiation triumphed and all the hostages were freed. 

The simulation was designed by a Foreign Service Officer, Moorhead Kennedy, who was himself a hostage for 444 days in Iran from 1979-1981. Assisting with the event  this year was Professor Milan Andrejevich, who brought to the simulation 30 years of international experience as educator, journalist, peace negotiator and scholar in the areas of ethnic relations, terrorism, interstate and global conflicts.

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Mr. President discussing options with the Terrorist Working Incident Group.

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A member of the Committee for National Struggle leads the American hostages into captivity.
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The hostages contemplate what to say in the letters they are finally allowed to send to their families.