An-Najah University Organizes the First International Arabic Language Debate Championship
An-Najah National University Debate Society, with the guidance of the Office of International and External Affairs, organized the International Arabic Debating Championship from March 16-19, 2023, marking the first-ever Arabic debate competition to include international debaters and judges from across MENA and Asia.
The tournament included the participation of twenty teams from ten different countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, including Palestine, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, India, and Pakistan. The esteemed jury panel also featured members from 22 different countries, representing Asia, Europe, and Africa.
The competition was comprised of three qualifying rounds, covering topics in the fields of rights, artificial intelligence, and media, along with two semi-final and final rounds. Following the Asian debate style, each team consisted of three speakers competing against each other, with only 20 minutes of preparation time.
The University of Science and Technology team from Yemen, the "Sada" team from Algeria, the "Dreamers" team from Yemen, and the "Misurata" team from Libya all qualified for the semi-finals. The University of Science and Technology and the "Sada" teams advanced to the final stage, where the final debate was broadcast live.
The Algerian team, the “Sada”, emerged victorious and clinched the first-place trophy. The final round was chaired by Mr. Shehab Khader, the head Arabic coach of An-Najah National University Debate Society, a graduate of An Najah University, and a member of the chief adjudication committee.
Ms. Sana Aslan and Ms. Nura Qasrawi, both also An-Najah University graduates, with over four years of experience in the field, were also part of the chief adjudication committee that decided the motions. The student leadership committee for the University's debate team, led by Zaina Hurani and Farah Atatri, was responsible for managing the preparation, logistics, and registration activities with the help of a team of volunteers.
Huda Qaqi, a member of the winning debating team, notes, "this tournament was a meeting of the strongest teams and minds. We enjoyed debating against one another as they are our friends before they are our competitors."
The An-Najah University Debate Society was founded in 2017 through the Office of International Relations and Foreign Affairs with the aim of training students and graduates throughout each semester on the art of debate for free. The Debating Society has organized more than 12 international and national English and Arabic Debating Championships since its inception and participated in some of the most prestigious international debate competitions in both English and Arabic. The Society also created the first for-credit course in debate available to the majority of An Najah students. Mrs. Alia Gilbrecht coordinates the An Najah Debate Society under the direction of the Vice President for International Development and External Affairs.