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QatarDebate activities in the United States

 

Spreading the culture of constructive dialogue and free speech across the globe through various activities and collaborations, will always be one of QatarDebate’s main ambitions.
Since its inception, QatarDebate’s outreach efforts included hosting international debate championships, organizing debate championships abroad, international collaborations and conducting training sessions and workshops all over the world.

The Unites States of America has always been an effective contributor to the advancement and development of the academic and competitive debate culture. Over the years the United States has relayed some of its best talents to represent the country in international debate events across the world. In 2013 the United States had its first official participation in an Arabic debating competition hosted by QatarDebate, and ever since the U.S. became an active participant in QatarDebate’s annual international Arabic debate championships for schools and universities, and through these particpations, QatarDebate has built a close relationship with many educational institutes in the U.S.

In 2018 QatarDebate set on a mission to spread its message and disseminate the culture of Arabic debate and dialogue in the United States even further, visiting multiple educational institutes across 5 States, conducting training sessions and workshops and initiating agreements resulting in building a solid foundation for the spread of the culture of Arabic debating all over the United States.

 

U.S. Outreach Trip

As part of our ongoing outreach efforts to spread the message of open dialogue and free thought across the globe, a delegation from QatarDebate in 2018 visited several educational institutes across five different States in America.

The trip included intensive training sessions on debate skills in Arabic for university students from the University of Utah, University of Western Kentucky, University of Chicago, Harvard University and New York University, in addition to students from two high schools in Kentucky and Utah.

The workshops aimed at familiarizing the students with basic debating skills and prepare them for upcoming debate championships, in addition to using debates as a tool to develop their Arabic language skills.

Several meetings were also held with universities’ officials to discuss forms of cooperation with QatarDebate after the growing demand of the Arabic debate culture among students in the U.S. which was formed by participations in previous international events hosted by QatarDebate, making QatarDebate a key player in spreading the Arabic language through the art of debate.

U.S Debate Capacity Building Program

An intensive training program that brings together coaches & team leaders from more than 15 universities across the U.S. to prepare and plan for future QatarDebate activities including the 1st Universities Arabic Debating Championship in the United States.

The program which was held in mid 2019 included specialized workshops held over a period of three days, focusing on adjudication skills and coaching debate teams based on QatarDebate standards, to develop debate clubs and debate teams to participate in future events in the U.S. or in international Arabic debate championships.

 

The workshop featured 20 participants from Harvard University, Princeton University, Western Kentucky University, University of Utah, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Chicago, Brigham Young University, Lindblom academy in Chicago, DePaul University-community College in Chicago, and College of Charleston.

 

The Debate Curriculums Forum in Chicago 2019

 

In addition to the intensive training program QatarDebate held a mini forum for academics and participants on presented proposals to strengthen relations with QatarDebate and explore common grounds of cooperation to develop and empower students to learn debate skills in Arabic for Arabic & non-Arabic speakers in the United States.

Collaborations & Debate curriculums in U.S universities

In light of the ongoing collaborations between QatarDebate and various educational institutes in the United States, in advancing Arabic Debate and enriching the experience of Arabic learners, and as a continuation to the efforts of previous courses, the Debate Curriculums Forum in Chicago 2019 – and many other joint activities – provide debate skills courses in the educational curriculum.

Currently QatarDebate is providing debate courses for Arabic learners in the United States at three different universities which are, University of Utah, Western Kentucky University, and University of Illinois.

 

University of Utah

On the fall semester of 2020, we are working with the University of Utah to provide certain models as part of the “Mastering Arabic Through Debate” course.

Course title: Mastering Arabic Through Debate, Fall 2020

 

Western Kentucky University

On the fall semester of 2020, we are working with Western Kentucky University to provide Debate Skills sessions for students as part of their advanced Arabic debate course.

This course focuses on Advanced Arabic conversation skills, which combines class discussions, debates and readings.

U.S. High Schools Arabic Debating Championship

Subsequent to a series of successful events, QatarDebate launched another promising initiative in the United States targeting Arabic learners in American high schools.

QatarDebate lunched the first edition of the U.S. High Schools Arabic Debating Championship in February 2020, with the participation of 4 pre-selected teams representing 4 high schools competing for the league title in three competitive debating rounds and for a spot to represent the United States. The International Schools Debating Championship is organized by QatarDebate in Doha Biennially.

The championship in its first edition was hosted by Utah University between 6 – 8 Feb. 2020 with the help of QatarDebate ambassador and Elite Academy members in the United States.

The teams debated a variety of topics in Modern Standard Arabic, including the ban of plastic bags, erasing all student debts, and the United States’ acceptance of more refugees.

 

1st U.S Schools Arabic Debating Championship

Participants:

1- Gatton Academy (Western Kentucky). Coach name: Lhousseine Guerwane

2- West High School (Utah). Coach name: Laila Lamani

3- Lindblom Math & Science Academy (Chicago). Coach name: Fadi Abughoush

4- Shwanee Mission South High School (Kansas). Coach name: Annam Hassa

Winner: West High School

 

2nd U.S Schools Arabic Debating Championship

A debate league targeting Arabic learners in American schools where they debate topics of interest and importance to them. The league is targeting 10+ American Schools this year and will be held virtually. The league comes after the successful first version which took place in Utah University in Feb 2020 with participation of 4 schools.

The aim of this league is to create a sustainable reoccurring cultural activity, to aid in spreading the Arabic Debate culture in American Schools, that shall be complementary and preparatory to other cultural events like QD International Schools Debate Championship.

 

U.S. Arabic Debating Championship

 

Following the recent advancements in its outreach efforts, QatarDebate organized the first ever Universities Arabic Debating Championship in collaboration with the Society of Arab Students at Harvard from 25 – 27 October 2019.

24 Teams representing 22 universities from all across the States took part in the championship totaling to more than 150 participants, including debaters, judges, organizers and volunteers.

The championship was spread across three days, beginning with intensive training sessions to prepare participants and equip them with the necessary tools to compete in the championship – specialized workshops for judges and debaters. Followed by 4 rounds of competitive debates spread across two days, then a semifinal and a grand final.

 

Winners:

  • 1st Place – Harvard University
  • 2nd place – University of Chicago
  • Best ASL team – Brigham Young University

QatarDebate looks forward to a bright future filled with great collaborations and debate activities in the United States.

During this year we have exciting plans to host and organize various debate related activities in the U.S. including training series leading up to the 2nd U.S. Arabic Debating Championship, cultural exchange programs, and many other educational and interesting activities.

Please fill out this form if you would like to join QatarDebate activities in the United States as a debater, Adjudicator, or coordinator on behalf of your organization.

 

For more inquiries related to QatarDebate activities in the U.S. kindly email us through the following email address: usadu@qf.org.qa