Arabic Language Debate Project Begins Serious Planning in Qatar

Here is the agendas for the upcoming planning session to promote debating in the Arabic language. This follows from the announcement of the project last November 2009. At that time, Dr. Hayat Maarafi made this speech.

Dr. Hayat Maraafi Address
Executive Director
Marking 2nd Year Anniversary
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace be upon you.
Good evening.
We meet today to celebrate the Second Anniversary of QatarDebate
that emerged from the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint
Nasser Al-Missned Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education,
Science and Community Development, which is dedicated to developing
human beings as the most expensive resources through a twofold
mission: sowing education and knowledge and unlocking creative
talents by promoting skills. Perhaps the most important skill that
human beings acquire is the ability to express and interact with the
opinions of others and not clash with them.
The goals on which QatarDebate was founded are of high importance
for they build the integral personality of the individual through a
standard set of skills which include the art of reading,
researching, listening, negotiating, problem solving, adept
rebutting, and scientific research. Contrary to the popular notion
in the Arab world that debates are a simple process of listening and
answering between interlocutors.
Two years ago, QatarDebate was launched in English in the aim of
spreading our message around the world and participating in
international championships to help our youth acquire better skills.
The more we succeeded the more our ambition grew with the unlimited
support of Qatar Foundation. Today, we are launching a unique
experience in our region that aims at transforming debates into a
teaching tool to help students engage in dialogue, acquire
self-confidence and master scientific research.
Thus, we are pleased to launch QatarDebate Center, an unparalleled
initiative in the Arab world, and the first debate organization in
the region. This achievement is the natural product of the vision of
Qatar Foundation and her constant support to raise the level of
discussion and open dialogue among students in Qatar and across the
Middle East and the world.
After wrapping up the Mini World Schools Debating Championships held
in Doha, QatarDebate Center will organize debates in the Arabic
language that will target the Qatari youth and the largest possible
segment of the community in Qatar and the Arab world. This comes as
part of an initiative to echo our national identity and Islamic and
Arabic language—particularly the use of classical-standard Arabic—by
cooperating with schools in Qatar, and organizing workshops
throughout the year to train Qatari students to follow up on events
in the world to be able to defend their opinion and learn from
others. More than 8000 students and faculty members are expected to
participate in these workshops organized by the Center in all
schools and universities. The First step into this initiative starts
here with you.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Center's activities aim at building a sustainable culture of
student debates by holding national competitions between schools and
universities, as well as selecting and training a debate team of
Qatari students to participate in the World Schools Debating
In conclusion, allow me to assure you that our success depends on
your support. The interaction of the media with our message and
covering and following up on this pioneering initiative in the Arab
world will help us achieve our desired goal.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.
To contact Dr. Hayat Maraafi by email: or by
phone: 5052504

Here are the notes about the upcoming sessions in Doha.

Arabic Debate Brainstorming Sessions

Team of International Debating Experts

• Professor Alfred Snider from the US
• Kate Shuster from the US
• Bojana Skrt from Slovenia
• Omair Tahir Rana from Pakistan
• Eva Spoor from Netherlands
• Fatima Hijran from Iraq/Canada
• Kelley Bieringer

The Arabic Debate Committee

• Dr. Abdul Gabbar Al-Sharafi
• Dr. Mahmoud Tarabay
• Dr. Abdellatif Sellami
• Mr. Farahat Labaar

12 – 13 March 2010
Al Dana 1, Intercontinental Hotel, Doha – Qatar (TBC)

Friday, 12th March 2010
9:00 am – 11:00 am
• Debates in different cultures and languages: The pros and cons.
• The anticipated role of QD as a founding body of the Arabic
language debates tournaments.
• The overall strategy to be considered by the QD in applying an
Arabic language debate.
Tea/Coffee Break 11:00 am – 11: 30am
Morning session continues
11:30am – 1:30pm
• Constructing Motions: an intercultural perspective
• An overview on organizing tournaments.
• Training the trainers: Where to start and how?

Saturday 13th March, 2010
Morning Session
9:00am – 11:00am

• Spreading the debating culture in the community (strategies and
best practices)
• Involving students, parents and the community in debating (methods
and best practices)
• Setting up debating teams and clubs in schools and community
(approaches and best practices)

Tea/Coffee Break
11:00 am – 11:30am

Morning Session Continues
11:30am – 1:30pm
• Debating in school and university curriculum (best practices – if any)
• Various debating models and styles and how to set up a QD model
for Arabic debating
• Various adjudication methods and how to set up a QD model for
Arabic debating adjudication

Saturday Afternoon Session
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

• Various approaches to training debaters and debater trainers (best
• Debating and the media (best practices)
• Setting up a Debating Resource Center (best practices)

Tea/Coffee Break
4:00pm – 4:30pm

Afternoon Session Continues
4:30pm – 5:30 pm
• Management of debating leagues and championships
• Other general issues relating to debating like (safety, ethics,
issues of legal implications, rights and responsibilities and so on)
(best practices)

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