QatarDebate Centre, an initiative of Qatar Foundation, will host the "largest ever" university debate championship with the participation of 52 countries from March 16 to 20.
“This is the largest university championship so far - be it in Arabic or English. About 110 teams are participating in the championship. A total of 52 countries have already registered for the championship from both Arab and Non-Arab countries,” Dr Hayat Abdullah Maarafi, executive director of QatarDebate Centre told Gulf Times.
Held under the patronage of HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, this is the fifth International Universities Debating Championship by QatarDebate that will take place at Qatar National Convention Centre.
The details of the championship were announced by Dr Maarafi at a press conference Tuesday. Ali Sultan al-Muftah, PR & media manager at QatarDebate, Ramzan al-Naimi, director, Network Creative, Aljazeera Network, Aisha al-Nesf, head, Educational Programmes at QatarDebate, and Abdulrahman al-Subaie, head, outreach programme at QatarDebate were also present on the occasion .
“The championship, held in Arabic, will be organised in two categories for native Arabic speakers and non-native Arabic speakers. There will be separate prizes for the best speaker and best team in both categories. More than 600 debaters and delegates shall attend the five day event,” explained Dr Maarafi.
“We have more than one team from most countries. We have allowed a maximum of three universities from one country to take part in the competition. From Kuwait and Oman we have five teams taking part. Each team has four participants other than the coach and other officials,” continued Dr Maarafi.
"This year we have also added a special award named ‘Pioneers Award’. This will be presented to the best project to spread the art of debate. During the championship we will also announce the new QatarDebate ambassadors,” she added.
There are a number of countries from North America and Europe participating in the championship. There are nine countries taking part in the competition for the first time including, Macedonia Iran, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Serbia among others.
Al Jazeera Network and Qatar Airways are the two major sponsors of the championship.