The Near East Wing

Ottoman Imperial Harem, 1560

The Ottoman Imperial Harem was not a prison for women. Rather, it was a platform for independently powerful women and eunuchs to exercise tremendous political influence by pooling their economic power, political connections, and other resources.

Under the leadership of Imperial Princess Mihrimah Sultan in the 1560's, the Harem became the unofficial governing body of the Ottoman Empire and, with its splendor and soft power, rendered Suleiman the Magnificent insignificant by comparison.

As delegates, you will represent the figures of the Harem that had a crown prince executed, led the government to besiege Malta, and hand-picked Suleiman’s successor. Your immense task, in the face of domestic unrest and Western, anti-Islamist opposition, is to ensure that the legacies of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Empire go down in history.


jordanna yochai

Chair

Jordanna Yochai is a second year in the College, majoring in Political Science, minoring in Near Eastern Language & Civilizations, and hailing from Long Island, New York -- home of real pizza, bagels that are worth eating, and Billy Joel.

Last year, Jordanna had a great time saving Europe in ‘Brussels: 2023,’ the ChoMUN Large, and also loved competing with UChicago’s traveling Model UN team. Outside of Model UN, she leads a cohort, works as a lifeguard, and actively stresses about the future of the Middle East. In her limited free time, Jordanna enjoys endangering her life on the flying trapeze and drinking Turkish coffee as though it’s actually just water.

She is thrilled to be the Chair of the ‘The Near East Wing: Ottoman Imperial Harem, 1560’ and cannot wait to see what this cadre of women and men will do with the Ottoman Empire! If you have any questions about committee or just want to chat, definitely reach out to her at jsyochai@uchicago.edu.

david liu

Crisis Director

David Liu is a second year in the College, majoring in Computational and Applied Mathematics and hailing from Long Island, New York -- home of real bagels, pizza that is worth eating, and The Great Gatsby.

Last year, David worked with Carter to save destroy Russia in ‘The Fault in our Tsars.’ In addition to Model UN, he is an analyst in The Blue Chips Investment Club, writes poetry of questionable artistic merit, and performs palliative care on his GPA. When he needs an escape from UChicago, he likes to play video games, (over)eat, and pay the interest on his sleep debt.

He is excited to be a Crisis Director for ‘The Near East Wing: Ottoman Imperial Harem, 1560’ and hopes that your handwriting is at least marginally better than his. Feel free to reach out to davidhliu@uchicago.edu about anything on your mind!

carter squires

Crisis Director

Carter Squires is a second year in the College, majoring in Political Science and Psychology (or whatever majors can keep his GPA up for law school). He hails from Louisville, Kentucky -- home of real bourbon, fried chicken that is worth eating, and horse racing.

Carter is returning to ChoMUN after working with David to destroy save Russia in ‘The Fault in Our Tsars.’ Outside of Model UN, Carter competes with UChicago’s Debate Team, is a consultant for local nonprofits, and works with the prospective students office. When he has time to catch his breath and relax, Carter enjoys getting outside to spend time in nature by running, hiking, and camping (this has proven difficult given Chicago’s weather and lack of large parks).

Carter is thrilled to be a Crisis Director for ‘The Near East Wing: Ottoman Imperial Harem, 1560.’ If you have any questions about this committee, ChoMUN, or life in general, don’t hesitate to shoot Carter an email at csquires@uchicago.edu!