• Boğaziçi University from Türkiye wins championship title in the non-native Arabic speakers’ category

Doha: The 7th International Universities Debating Championship concluded on Wednesday, with HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF), presenting the first-place award to An-Najah National University from Palestine, which won the competition for the first time. The second and third-place awards were given to the University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon and Georgetown University in Qatar respectively.

The awards were presented at the closing ceremony, which took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre. The ceremony was attended by HE Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Machaille Hassan Al Naimi, Executive Officer of the Vice Chairperson and CEO Office of QF, H.E. Mounir Ghannam, Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Khalifa Al Thani, Executive Director of Partnerships at Al Jazeera Media Institute, Dr. Sharifa Noaman Al-Emadi, Executive Director of the Doha International Family Institute, Mr. Mazen Al-Farhan, Acting Director of the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Kubaisi, Chair of the Championship Jury, along with other dignitaries and senior officials.

HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani also honored the top three speakers in the tournament including Moza Khaled Al-Hajri from Georgetown University in Qatar, Abdullah Jassim Al-Kubaisi from Qatar University, and Rawan Muhammad Harshi from the University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon. 

Abeer Al Khalifa, President of Pre-University Education at Qatar Foundation, honored the remaining seven top speakers and presented the Championship Award for the non-native Arabic speakers’ category to the University of Boğaziçi from Türkiye.

Dr. Hayat Abdullah Marafi, Executive Director of the QatarDebate Center, expressed her pride in the students' strong analytical and critical skills and fluency in Arabic throughout the tournament.  

Remembering debaters from Palestine who could not participate in the tournament, Dr. Marafi remarked: “I would like to emphasize that despite their inability to participate in the championship, the Islamic University of Gaza team is present with us today. The Palestinian cause is our cause and that of every just individual.”

“We value the participation of students in the non-native speakers’ category and I would like to thank Qatar Foundation and all our partners for their support in organizing this championship and for their commitment to promoting a culture of dialogue and debate. I congratulate the winning teams and wish them good luck and success," she added.

H.E. Mounir Ghannam, Palestine’s Ambassador to Qatar, expressed his enthusiasm over the success of the Palestinian team, which secured the title of the 2024 edition.

“Today represents a milestone in the history of debating, and highlights our nation’s significant contribution to science and culture, with the support of Qatar. I express my sincere appreciation to the organizers and sponsors of the tournament, which demonstrated the key role that Arab communities play in scientific advancement. My congratulations to the winners, led by the An-Najah National University team from Palestine.”

Final debate

The final round, held under the motion, “This house, as a young Muslim, would migrate to the West,” featured a heated debate that engaged the audience as both teams exchanged their arguments.

Farah Iyad Atatari, a member of the Palestinian team, along with Zeina Jamal Hourani and Hammam Salah Jallad, was thrilled to win in the finals.

Atatari remarked, “Reaching the final was an achievement. Our hard work and diligence paid off and we won the title after an intense final debate. It was a wonderful and beneficial experience, where we had the opportunity to meet brilliant speakers from all over the world.”

She added that she was touched by the solidarity that youth globally have expressed, which incentivized the team to strive for excellence throughout the competition. “This tournament proves that Arab youth enjoy a strong sense of awareness.”

Rawan Muhammad Harshi, a member of the University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon, including Heba Abdel-Hussein Dhaini and Roaa Ahmed Sharaf El-Din, said she was thrilled to represent Lebanon in the final round.

“We are the first Lebanese team to reach the finals, it was a rich experience all around,” remarked Rawan.

Organizing partners including the Doha Forum, Al Jazeera Media Institute, the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and the Doha International Family Institute, were also recognized for contributing to the tournament’s success.


Native Arabic Speakers’ category

First Place: An-Najah National University, Palestine

Second Place: University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon

Third Place: Georgetown University in Qatar

Non-native Arabic Speakers’ Category:

First Place: Boğaziçi University, Türkiye

Second Place: Fatih Sultan Mehmet University, Türkiye

Top Arabic Speakers

  1. Moza Khaled Al-Hajri (Georgetown University in Qatar)
  2. Abdullah Jassim Al Kubaisi (Qatar University)
  3. Rawan Muhammad Harshi (University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon)
  4. Wissam Al-Sadiq Muhammad Qadam (Texas A&M University at Qatar)
  5. Shahad Louay Al-Qatbi (Middle East University)
  6. Carmel Saed Al-Mady (Middle East University)
  7. Anas Maher Ahmed Akkawi (Al-Ahliyya Amman University)
  8. Muhammad Awad Al-Yafei (Qatar University)
  9. Aya Ahmed Abu Saeeda (University of Tripoli)
  10. Heba Abdel Hussein Dhaini (University of Arts and Sciences in Lebanon)

Non-Native Arabic speakers

  1. Imran bin Salman (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)
  2. Daniel Khan Shahiran Ziri (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)
  3. Azkiaa Al-Ghafari bin Mansur (STIBA Ar-Raayah Sukabumi, Indonesia)
  4. Muhammad Azhar bin Abdul Rab (STIBA Ar-Raayah Sukabumi, Indonesia)
  5. Ruba Yahya Amin Nazzal (Australian National University)


For more info, please contact: Khaled Al-Ibrahim 55834445

About QatarDebate:

QatarDebate Center, founded by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, was established in 2008 and is the national debating organization for Qatar. We aim to be a guiding force in nurturing the spirit of free thought, open discussions, and constructive debate in Qatar, the wider Arab region and beyond.

At QatarDebate, we believe by “Enriching Dialogue, Empowering Minds”, we prepare the next generation with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to explore, analyze, and debate important issues from all sides.

The efforts of QatarDebate Center in spreading the culture of debate and open dialogue are expanding and spreading via building bridges of cooperation with many institutes locally and internationally. QatarDebate nurtures unique programs with the aim of spreading QatarDebate’s message across the globe.

QatarDebate Center serves the community by partnering with local organizations and ministries to improve public discourse. We organize events and tournaments for schools and universities worldwide. QatarDebate also fosters Team Qatar, the national debating team that represents Qatar in international championships.