An-Najah Debate Society Reaches Final Round of International Tournament
The Office of International Development and External Affairs' University Debate Society (NNUDS) participated in the Tilbury House Online Open 2020 on May 30th-31st.
Sanaa Aslan, Iman Saraj, Shehab Khader, Rahaf Aloudeh, Mohammed Jubeh, Sara Ismail, Deema Sous, Zaina Hurani, and Tayseer Alawneh made history by being the first Palestinian team to make it to finals in an English language international debate tournament.
Out of a tournament with over 160 debaters from over 30 different countries, NNUDS team members Zaina Hurani and Tayseer Alawneh both were ranked in the top five Novice speakers (1 year or less of University level debate experience). In the ‘Pro Am’ category (eligibility required that one of the debate team members has 1 year or less of University level debate experience). Shehab Khader was ranked 5th with his partner from Poland, Karol Janiuk and Zaina and Tayseer made it to the Pro-Am grand final. The motion they debated was whether teachers and parents belonging to oppressed minority group should teach children within their group to contribute to the welfare of the group even at personal cost. They were assigned to debate the government side (agreeing with the motion).
During their case, they brought up clear parallels between the racist police brutality in the United States against black people and the protests around the unjust murder of George Floyd and the recent murder of Iyad Hallaq, a Palestinian young man with autism who was recently senselessly killed by the occupation forces in Jerusalem.
NNUDS has been very active over the past several months, completing two months of Arabic introductory debate training as well as Gaza training. NNUDS has competed in multiple international online tournaments over the last two months including Trinity Online Open, Central European Cyberspace Open, and Astana Online Open.