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QatarDebate unveils Team Qatar for WSDC.

JOSEPH VARGHESE DOHA QATARDEBATE Center has announced a five-member debate team for the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) 2012 to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

It will also the first time that all the participating students are Qataris. The WSDC 2012 will be held from January 17 to 27. Forty-eight countries will be taking part in the meet.

Giving the details of the team and the participants during a press conference on Sunday, Dr Hayat Maarafi, executive director of QatarDebate, said that it was the fifth time QatarDebate was participating in the WSDC since its inception in 2007.

"Qatar has participated in four previous WSDC events, in the US, Greece and Scotland while it hosted a tournament in 2010.

Choosing an all Qatari team was part of the strategy as this will further bolster the interest of Qatari students in joining debates, she said.

She also said that in earlier years it was an issue as many of the students were not aware of the debating culture but of late interest in debate has spread among the youth in the country.

Dr Maarafi mentioned that the team was made up of five teenagers who are a mix of experience and talent. The team members are Saad al Suwaidi, 16, from Qatar Leadership Academy, Hassan al Mulla, 16, from Khalifa Secondary School, as well as Abdulla al Emadi, 14, Haya al Thani, 16 and Noora al Naemi, 14, all from Doha College.

"For the past three months, the students have been preparing for the tournament, by taking part in workshops and training events. We will also have a number of international coaches and the first one of them has already arrived from Slovenia," Dr Maarafi added.

The team members expressed happiness in representing the country at an international event and explained that they had spoken to previous team members to find out about the WSDC experience. , They said they were looking forward to representing the country at the tournament.

As part of their training, the team participated at the Debate Dubai 2011 held at the Jumeirah College last month where they faced national teams, from other countries.

One of the team members, Saad al Suwaidi, said, "This is my first time at the WSDC and I am greatly honoured to represent my country. It is an opportunity for me to improve my self confidence and awareness of global issues." WSDC is an annual competition for high school students from all around the world. In 2010, Doha hosted a tournament which attracted participation from 57 countries.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Dec 14, 2011
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