Students from across the Arab world and Asia say the opportunity to test their skills at the Asian Arabic Debating Championship, organized by QatarDebate, has been an experience that will benefit them into the future.
The Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) team from Kuwait and the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) team from Jordan made it to the finals of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur – which the Qatar Foundation member has organized in collaboration with the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) - after a challenging round of competitions.
And participants in the debating championship have praised it for bringing together people from different backgrounds, and for spreading and promoting the Arabic language around the world, especially in non-Arabic speaking countries.
Sewar Wajih Al-Qasim, a member of the PSUT team, looked forward to the final by saying: "The experience has been wonderful, and I have enjoyed debating with strong and competitive teams.
“My enthusiasm increased after the results for the final round were revealed, and I will do the best I can. My team and I are honored to represent our country, Jordan. This stage is more challenging, and we feel like we have a bigger responsibility to win now.
“To me, success is not only about the final result, but about all the previous successes that we have achieved together as a team, because with each win, we learn more and grow more – this is our main goal.”
Alongside GUST and PSUT, teams from the Lebanese American University (LAU) and IIUM made it to the semi-finals. Team members emphasized how intense the competition has been, with the motions discussed covered many diverse fields related to education, humanity, and social topics.
Nahla Bassiouni, from LAU, said: “My feelings were indescribable after qualifying for the semi-finals, which were a big challenge for us as a team, because the issue raised was difficult and our position was not easy to argue for.
"Although we did not qualify for the finals, I am proud of how far we have reached, and the judges’ decision regarding our last round was fair. Altogether, this experience has been wonderful.”
Debater Khaled Saad Al-Qahtani, from the Kuwait University team that qualified for the quarter-finals, said: "This tournament is a new extension of QatarDebate’s work, adding to the wide range of tournaments it organizes all over the world, such as its Asian, American, and European tournaments.
“These efforts embody the vision and mission of QatarDebate, which is to take the culture of dialogue to the whole world.
"To participate in the championship, experience the thrill of debating, and learn about different cultures helps you to learn and grow. These international tournaments provide a platform for future generations who will continue to spread the culture of debate from one generation to the next in Kuwait.”
Also qualifying for the quarter-finals were the American University of Beirut, the University of Malaya, and An-Najah National University in Palestine. In the quarter-finals, the debaters focused on the topic "Building housing for the poor in slums.”