An-Najah University Debate Society (NNUDS) Takes Home Best Speaker Prize at the Al Quds Bard Open Debate Tournament
On Friday and Saturday February 22nd and 23rd, 2019, the Office of International Development and External Affairs' An-Najah National University Debate Society (NNUDS) had eight teams participate in the Al Quds Bard Open Debate Tournament in Abu Dis. The tournament also included debaters from debate teams across the West Bank including Birzeit, Bethlehem, Al Quds, and Al Quds Bard Universities and the Good Shepard Swedish High School.
The two-day tournament followed the British Parliamentary debate format which involves four teams competing against one another with two teams per side and two members per team. Each team aims to create the most persuasive case after only 15 minutes of preparation. This year, the tournament included four rounds before eliminations to semifinals and a final round. NNUDS took home many high honors including the top speaker award, shared by Iman Sarraj and Sanaa Aslan. Six of the eight teams that progressed to the semi-finals were from NNUDS and three of the top four teams who competed in the final round were also NNUDS teams. In addition to Iman and Sarraj taking home best speaker, another five of NNUDS team members placed in the top 8 speakers. Coming in as third best speaker, Suhayb Sakran, fourth best speaker Radi Baraq, seventh best speaker Omar Yousef, and both Nawal Aljayyousi and Mohammad Ali tying ranking eighth best speaker.
With a very close final round and split final judge decision, Dalia Alayassa and Ramez Hayek of Al Quds Bard College won the tournament.
The Chief Adjudicators of the tournament included Sharmila Parmanand of the University of Cambridge and Kallina Basli, Head Coach of the Hellenic American Educational Foundation. Winta Mehari, Head Coach of Al Quds Bard College served both as the Convener and Deputy Chief Adjudicator and Alia Gilbrecht, Head Coach of An-Najah National University Debate Society (NNUDS) also served as a Deputy Chief Adjudicator.
Tariq Asedih and Shatha Arafat of Nablus Debate Community; Lara Kasbari and Sajeda Khaled of Bethlehem University; Tamara Abdellatif and Mohammad Salhi, Omar Douglas, and Ismaeel Suwan also served as judges.
NNUDS semi-finals teams included Omar Yousef and Shehab Ali-Khader, Nura Qasrawi and Layan Malhees, Mohammad Ali and Ahmad Thaher in addition to Iman Sarraj and Sanaa Aslan, Nawal Aljayyousi and Mohammad Jubeh, Suhayb Sakran and Radi Baraq who made it to the final round.
The An-Najah University Debate Society (NNUDS) was established in 2017 and has trained over 200 students and recent graduates in debate and argumentation. NNUDS has held two international tournaments and numerous smaller competitions and community training workshops. Internationally, NNDUS has participated in three tournaments. In July 2018, NNUDS was part of the first Palestinian team to ever compete at the European Universities Debating Championship (EUDC), in November 2018 NNUDS also brought three debaters to compete in the Huber Debate Tournament at the University of Vermont in the United States, and in January was the first Palestinian date society ever to compete in the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC). Currently, the team is preparing to send two debaters to the La Verne University tournament in Los Angeles in March 2019. To get involved with NNUDS and be a part of their upcoming International Palestine Open Debate Tournament, contact [email protected] or visit their site at https://www.facebook.com/NNUDSPALESTINE