Four CAIS students of Arabic have recently competed in the Fifth International Arabic Debating Championships in Doha, Qatar. The four, led by CAIS lecturer Leila Kouatly, were James Turner, Alia Huberman, Campbell Starky and Conor Sproule.
The team have performed exceptionally well - winning four of their five debates. Leila Koutaly, who coached them to this very high level, said she was very proud of the group and what they have achieved in a short time.
The debaters were competing against other non-native Arabic speakers in order the debate be as fair as possible. They competed against teams from universities in Poland, The United States, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Indonesia. The topics set for the students to debate are extraordinarily difficult in a second language. The topics included: compulsory voting; implementing a vegetarian diet; suspending the legal rights of workers during times of economic crisis; and the prohibition of positive portrayals of convicted war criminals.
James Turner said they were surprised at their success and that 'it has been such a privilege to take part with so many great teams'.