In the final debate within ASSABIL’s “Beirut Debate Clubs' Collaboration 2016” project, funded by Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures (ALF), students from Jamil Alrawas Public High School won defending their opinion about the “School Uniform”, against the opposition team from Achrafiye Public High School. Under the environmental themes, the opposition team from the Municipal Public Library of Geitawi won the debate about “Limiting the number of cars within the family” against the team from Jamil Alrawas Public High school. While in the debate about “Limiting the water consumption within the family”, the team from Achrafiye Public High School won against the opposition team from Jamil Mahmasani Public High School.
27 school students participated in the final debate on May 7th at Monot Theater, in the presence of the schools’ principals, parents and friends. The event started with a speech from ASSABIL’s member, Antione Boulad. He said “Televisions were supposed to invite the municipal candidates for public debates to discuss and argue their programs, as the school students participating in the project”.
The students were introduced to the principals of debate with the trainer, Joe Haddad, at the beginning of April. Follow up sessions were carried by Ali Alzoobi, debate trainer, through a whole month, giving the students time to prepare their arguments and researches. Ward Alsham, participant from Municipal Public Library in Geitawi, said “I participated because debate benefits me and fills my time. I always participate in the activities organized by the Library in Geitawi”. On the other hand, Ali Alzoobi thinks that the society now needs strong debaters more than professionals. He said “debate educates youth on tolerance and understanding. Also teaches them that any point of view is weak, unless they could build strong arguments”.
At the end of the debate, participation and appreciation certifications were given to the students. Also schools’ principals and teams’ coordinator received acknowledgment certificates. The students from Jamil Alrawas Public High School, Achrafiye Public High School, Sobhi Mahmasani Public High School and a free team from the Municipal Public Library at Geitawi are the new generation at ASSABIL’s debate program that started at 2011.