Doha – QatarDebate
Under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF); the 5th International Universities Debating Championship, continues to contribute to increasing the art of debate skills and the exchange of peoples’ cultures.
On the second day of the Championship, 107 teams continued their battle of minds and words at the QNCC as they debated three rounds. While discussing challenging debate motions on issues ranging from sports, war crimes to worker rights, the participants exceeded all expectations.
During a press conference held in the media center, participating teams from the United States that include Harvard University, Brigham Young University, Utah University, New York University, The University of Chicago, and Western Kentucky University talked about the transformational experience this international championship has had on them.
Over the past few years, QatarDebate has expanded its activities beyond the Arab region, reaching the world, and has established partnerships with many educational institutions in the United States, including Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Jude Najjar, a student at Harvard University, explained that in the past, they only had opportunities to debate in English at the university. Now, because of QatarDebate, they have the chance to debate in Arabic as well. She thanked QatarDebate for organising debate skills workshops for them at Harvard that improved their debate competence and made it possible for them to compete at this championship. Accompanying her teammates, Amanda Laura, another student from Harvard University expressed how debating in English is already hard. So for them, the challenges were even more significant because they had to debate in the Arabic language. In the face of these difficulties, she was satisfied that she is not only mastering the Arabic language but also learning about different cultures through this championship.
Dr. Ahmed Ferhadi, New York University
Dr. Ahmed Ferhadi, New York University, former president of American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA), which aims to facilitate communication and cooperation between teachers of Arabic and to promote study, criticism, research and instruction in the field of Arabic language pedagogy, Arabic linguistics and Arabic literature spoke at the media center. He praised the efforts of QatarDebate Center in spreading the Arabic language and the keenness of QatarDebate’s leadership in disseminating debates in Arabic as a way to communicate with others from all over the world through this championship. “The on-going tournament is an exceptional opportunity for linguistic and cultural integration.” Dr Ahmed Ferhadi said.