Five talented debaters from Kuwait recently joined their contemporaries from across the globe in the World Schools Debating Championships 2013 (WSDC) in Antalya, Turkey.
The team comprised Captain Ishita Handa (BSK), Imran Saleh (NES), Emma Abdullah (NES) and Leena Albader (BSK). They were coached by Grainne McCreevy of New English School and Obada Al Halabi, a former student of New English School and WSDC alumni. The team was managed by Miss Bethan Evans of The British School of Kuwait. The debaters were selected after taking part in a series of selection debates held at BSK. Once selected, they underwent a rigorous round of training and preparation in the months leading up to the tournament. During these intensive preparations they focused upon, amongst other things, honing their skills in research, public speaking and case preparation.
In Turkey Team Kuwait faced a diverse range of prepared motions which required them to research and tackle challenging issues such as ceasing the exploitation of resources in the Arctic region and whether or not important decisions about children’s health should be made by medical professionals and not by their parents. They also participated in debates on whether the US should have greater military presence in East Asia and the use of sovereign debt default as a legitimate strategy for debt-ridden countries. In addition to this, Team Kuwait rose to the challenge of impromptu motions on topics such as whether the media should be prevented by law from intruding in the lives of public figures, allowing prisoners to choose death over the life sentence, requiring government schools to teach religious studies and requiring university students to work in their country of origin for a number of years after graduation. The tournament was eventually won by Team Australia who triumphed over Team Swaziland in a hotly contested final in which they proposed that Turkey would be better off outside the EU.
Team Kuwait improved their debate skills immeasurably during the course of the tournament and thoroughly enjoyed going head to head with teams from Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Turkey, Malaysia, Montenegro, Canada, The Netherlands and Sweden. This was a fantastic opportunity for them to experience a culture very different to their own and to mix with students from around the world. The students debated in a diverse range of schools in Antalya, as well as prestigious venues such as the International University of Antalya. When they were not debating they enjoyed a fantastic tour of the historic Lycian coast of Turkey, visiting the site of the mythical Chimera natural gas fires and the historic ruins of the Roman town of Olympos.
All in all it was a once in a lifetime experience. The team is proud to acknowledge the support and sponsorship of New English School and The British School of Kuwait. The next WSDC will take place in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2014. Any aspiring debaters who would like to find out more about this tournament can email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Team Kuwait pictured at the World Schools Debating Championships held in Turkey. From left to right: Imran Saleh (NES), Captain Ishita Handa (BSK), Emma Abdullah (NES) and Leena Albader (BSK).
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