|Students participate in mini Doha Debate|
Part of launch of Doha Debates' Arabic website
Four QU students took part in a spirited mini Doha Debate last Thursday on the motion "This House believes that Muslim women should be free to marry anyone they choose".
The Debate was part of the launch hosted by QU of the Arabic website of the Doha Debates, the discussion forum on issues, events and developments in the Arab world televised on BBC World News.
QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad and Doha Debates Chair Tim Sebastian gave brief presentations to the audience who comprised QU External Relations Director Zeina Al-Azmeh, Director of QU International Affairs Program Dr Amira Sonbol, students, faculty and staff.
In her address, Prof Al-Misnad, said: "Debating helps students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers, which is part of QU's approach to student learning outcomes. Qatar is going through a social change and in the future, we expect to have elections and a parliament, so developing debating skills from now will be very helpful to our students later in life".
"The Arabic page extends our reach enormously into the Arab world, and we are looking forward to a response to our debates from a much wider audience", Tim Sebastian said, adding, "It is good to see that so many people here in QU are involved and passionate about debating, and we are glad to provide the opportunity to do this, and to address issues which were never before discussed in public".
The newly-created website will provide Arabic translation of the debates in order to reach the largest possible number of new viewers within the scope of the Middle East. For the first time, millions of people in Arab countries will have the opportunity to follow the dialogue and discussions in their own language.
The new site will feature information about the Debates, previous episodes, transcripts, and also opinion polls that were conducted throughout the Arab world.
Doha Debates PR consultant Patrick Forbes explained: "We started the Doha Debates project five years ago, and it is now the most popular show on BBC World. Our English page receives more than a million hits a month. Now, our next frontier is the Arabic-speaking population who will be able to access the website in Arabic, as well as watch the debates with Arabic subtitles. We are talking with different Arabic broadcasters including Qatar TV and another in Egypt to air the Arabic-subtitled version of the Debates. There is a huge demand for tickets for the show; however, we have an outreach program for Qatar high school and university students who make up 65% of our audience".