QatarDebate engages in fruitful dialogues at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum
Doha – QatarDebate Center
Following up to the global methodology adopted by QatarDebate – a member of Qatar Foundation for Education and Social Development – in spreading the culture of debate and dialogue, QatarDebate participated in the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021 to bring to life fresh prospects and areas of cooperations between the State of Qatar and the Russian Federation, and to debate at the global stage for a better future.
On this note, Dr. Hayat Maraafi – Executive Director of QatarDebate Center – explained that this project that Qatar Foundation has adopted through our center is to deepen the openness and global expansion of debates in Arabic and English.
This extension towards globalization opens new horizons for cultural and linguistic diversity, which serves Arabic language learners, and constitutes the main basis for improving dialogue tools.
Climate Change Debate, mitigation or adaptation
The Qatari pavilion at SPIEF 2021 witnessed an exciting debate on climate change and participants argued which is the right method to deal with this problem, adapting to it, or combating it?
Joining the debate were some youthful talents from Qatar and Russia including, Salama Al-Suwaidi – English language teacher, Dana Darwish – International Affairs degree – and both are Georgetown University graduates. From Russia: Khaso Atsayev and Hawa Tashef, a translation major graduate and is fluent in five languages, including Arabic.
The most beautiful thing about the debate is the presentation of different opinions, as it affects the sway of audience’s opinionsSalama Al-Suwaidi
About her recent experience as a debater, Salama Al-Suwaidi said: “My participation in the debate in the forum is the last for me as a debater, but it is the beginning of my career in debates by offering training workshops at the graduate level or other competitions that bring me together with passionate and educated debaters from all over the world.
Meeting with our Russian colleagues in research and studying the effective and strong points is a means of self-development using learning methods different from the current ways of learning, because it allows searching for the topic and presenting the focal points.
For her part, Dana Darwish said: “at school was the starting point for my debate experience until I joined Georgetown University and with the first local championship, I became more interested in debates, especially after I saw an improvement in my language and conversational skills, in addition to participating in the American Universities Debating Championship.
Hawa Tsechev said: “I used to participate in debates at the university level and in Russian language, but my first experience in Arabic was with QatarDebate.
It is a great opportunity to earn this honor, by participating in the forum and in the Arabic language, adding: “The beginning was to go through this experience through filling an application on Instagram, where the organizers of the event organized competitions among the debaters that ended with the qualification of the winners to participate in the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. Since I got second place, I got the invitation.”
QatarDebate and Russia – Integration cultures through debates
Adjudicating the debate from QatarDebate, Aisha Alnesf and Mohammed Salman Ali, and from Moscow, Mr. Rashid bin Majid Al Suwaidi, Counselor at the Qatari Embassy in Moscow.
Commenting on his first experience in adjudicating debates, Mr. Rashid Al-Suwaidi said: “It is a new experience that helped me get to know the world of debates, go deeper into open discussions, listen to the adequate explanation of each party, and understand more about the way the judging session in debates proceeds.
Al-Suwaidi added: “The culture of accepting other opinions is declining in the Middle East and many people reject other views, especially if they differ from theirs.”
Al-Suwaidi pointed out about the importance of disseminating the culture of debates: “It is important to spread the culture of debate in our region, especially in the State of Qatar, and to support open discussions and find a mechanism to raise their standards. Because we are heading to the Shura Council elections next October.”
“The impact of debates and dialogue on the youth will be the basis for electing the right candidate. As for the voter, he must prepare to choose the person capable of expressing the hopes and aspirations of the people, and making the criterion one of competence, wisdom and strength of argument.”
Memorandum of understanding between QatarDebate and the Qatari Russian Center for Cooperation
During QatarDebate’s participation in the Saint Petersburg International Forum, QatarDebate and the Qatari Russian Center for Cooperation signed a Memorandum of understanding. Represented by Mr. Abdulrahman Al Subaie from QatarDebate Ms. Diana Madova from QRCC. “We are proud and grateful to be part of this ever-growing collaboration.” – Ms. Diana.
Adding, “This platform is a step forward in extending the path of dialogue and a prelude through which we look forward to exploring and adopting new avenues of cooperation and participation.”
Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Subaie, Outreach Programs manager, said “the memorandum is the result of the center’s efforts to promote and spread the Arabic language around the world, through building partnerships and enabling bonds of friendship and continuous cooperation with world leaders.”
Mr. Abdulrahman added: “This memorandum represents the forefront of a constructive partnership with the Russian Federation, which has a global prestige and sovereignty, and a country characterized by its deep cultural, literary, scientific and historical depth.”