May, 2014 Students Put Question to Practise with New Arab Debates

For the first time, New Arab Debates presented a wonderful learning opportunity for students to practise their question building and asking skills. 

Students were invited to participate in a productive workshop with Chairman and Founder of New Arab Debates, Tim Sebastian, and Tanya Sakzewski, which was held at the school’s library. Our very own Head of School, Mrs. Alice Abboud, hosted the workshop as she was delighted to welcome our guests for the first time and to see students participate in a challenging workshop.

Opening the session Mr. Sebastian gave a preliminary to the workshop as he discussed that responsible citizens of any society should hold people to account and that it is important to listen to other view points and to look at views in a particular way. Students learned that the best questions need to be short, simple and concise and that it is essential to have good research and evidence to win an argument.

“We live in a world that is short of tolerance, and we need to listen to other people’s ideas even if we don’t like them or agree,” stated Tim. He continued, “Debate is a learning process that we need to set aside our personal opinions from judgments.” 

As excited as students were, they were challenged to ask clear and concise questions in a role play scene as if they were speaking to an imaginary real government official.  Students were required to research about a real life event as Tim Sebastian mentioned, “The best way to prepare for questions is to use practical examples.”

The round table workshop continued with impressive questions from students as they raised their concerns over a particular issue from universal human rights, innocent prisoners, violence, riots, protests, deployment, security, government and law.

Some students raised their concerns on how to present a motion over a controversial issue, how to overcome contradicting facts during a debate, how we choose the motion of our debates, what techniques we can use to phrase questions and how we can best use one question to reach answers.

The workshop was a milestone for our students to connect and relate to real world issues, how to express questions and debate. 

Tim Sebastian is also the founder of The Doha Debates, a public forum for dialogue and freedom of speech in Qatar. 

Well done to our girls!