Under the patronage of HE Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairman of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), QatarDebate Center launched the third International Universities Arabic Debating Championship (IAUDC) from 26 to 29 April 2015 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).
Sixty-seven teams are participating and they represent 33 different Arab and non-Arab countries in total.
According to the Executive Director at QatarDebate, Dr Hayat Maarafi, the championship allows for everyone to make a significant difference in their communities, and countries and is sure this year’s IAUDC will be a proud milestone of achievement in their personal lives. Dr Maarafi called on participants to benefit from the Championship not only through competitive debating but also by exchanging experiences, opinions and different cultural values and ideas amongst each other.
The QatarDebate Center was awarded with the title, ‘The Guards of the Arabic language’, organised by the Sumou Foundation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, because of the tremendous effort made by everyone within the QatarDebate Center and by all of the residents of Qatar and beyond who support and participate in all QatarDebate events and programme.
Dr Maarafi stated that QatarDebate’s efforts have not only helped spread debate but also created opportunities to debate in Arabic in places where such an art never existed. Qatari student Yousef Fakhro is an example of the above as he trained the team from the University of Utah and they are now competing in this year’s IAUDC. Debater Baraa Al Zaidi also exemplifies the above as she co-founded ‘The Tunisian Organization of Debates’ who now excel in Arabic debate.
As QatarDebate is a member of QF, Dr Maarafi stated the QF tree has increased in its beauty because of the addition of these multi-coloured leaves represented by the flags of the 33 participating countries in this year’s IAUDC.
During IAUDC, QatarDebate Center signed a memoradam of understanding with the University of Foreign Languages and Professional Career in the republic of Kazakhistan. The memorandum was signed by Dr Maarafi and Dr Sabri Khazmatli, rector of the University in Kazakhistan.
Dr Khazmatli praised the vibrant role that QatarDebate is playing in spreading the Arabic language among university students. He highlighted that the support offered by QatarDebate directly led to the number of students of the Arabic language by three times. Dr Khazmatli stressed on the importance the unique role QatarDebate Center plays in the world as it has which contributed to strengthening and enriching the Arabic language globally. In addition, he applauded the centre’s efforts in organising the third IAUDC. Dr Khazmatli invited Dr Maarafi to attend the university’s 10 year anniversary celebration and to attend the celebration of Almati, the capital of Islamic culture, and to witness the positive results QatarDebate Center’s support has had on the university for herself.
Dr Maarafi stated that the terms of the agreement include mutual cooperation between the two parties and it included providing Arabic and debating coaches and learning materials to the University as well as sending trainers for workshops at QatarDebate Center.