International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the
Pedagogy of Empowerment, organized by Qatar
Debate in cooperation with the Slovenian Institute for culture of
dialogue, International Society for the Study of
Argumentation-Netherlands, World Debate Institute, and the International
Center for the Advancement of Political Communication and
Argumentation-USA, taking place at Doha-Qatar, was concluded with
participation of more than 300 researchers and scholars representing 38
different countries, with large Arab presence from more than 14 Arab
During the 4th edition of the International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, and Debate. (Photo: Business Wire)
The conference, which was held for the first time in the Middle East,
focused on the distinctive role that Qatar plays as a global bridge
between civilizations and religions and an advocate of the culture of
argumentation, tolerance and acceptance.
During the closing session, the conferees adopted the “Doha
Declaration”, which is a set of recommendations that advocates creating
awareness of debate culture globally. Some of the major recommendations
Invest human heritage in the fields of debate and dialogue and
globalize the principle of “dialogue as a thought and practice.”
Rationalize the theoretical efforts and invest these efforts in
practical programs that build dialogue and communication bridges
between nations and countries, irrespective of their language,
religion, culture, or civilization.
Use and adopt dialogue as a means of affirming the right to be
different while recognizing the need to manage difference in a
peaceful and civil manner and to create the necessary space for free
discussion and exchange of ideas.
Build a network of international institutions that promote dialogue
and debate, utilizing the media and communication technologies to
achieve this goal.
Integrate debate and dialogue into the educational, cultural and media
curricula as these are the incubators through which people are taught
the values and skills of dialogue; and establish relevant centers to
achieve this goal.
Establish partnerships with civil society and public organizations
that work in the area of dialogue and debate, and support their
efforts in the field of upbringing and training young people in the
values of debate and dialogue and their ethics and manners.
Make the International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate,
and the Pedagogy of Empowerment a periodic gathering event that
underscores the values and culture of dialogue in different counties
across the globe.
Heighten the value of an Olympiad on dialogue and debate, so that it
becomes a widely recognized international tradition.
Develop studies and research on the culture of debate and dialogue.
Reinforce dialogue between different intellectual and cultural schools
through specialized academic seminars and forums, and that encourage
young people to enhance and develop their dialogue and debate skills.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation
for Education, Science and Community Development, attended the inaugural
session and made a keynote address, calling for a culture of dialogue
and support to help young people become future leaders.
After the inauguration Her Highness participated in the first panel
discussion on “Engaging Youth in Constructive Dialogue to Promote Peace,
Understanding and Mutual Respect”, moderated by Jassim Al Azzawi, Al
Jazeera English with Professor Ibrahim Al Naimi, The Doha International
Center for Interfaith Dialogue, Dr Aisha Al Mannai, Qatar University,
Professor Alfred C Snider, University of Vermont, Dr David Cratis
Williams, Florida Atlantic University, and Dana Al Ansari, Carnegie
Mellon University, as panelists. Her Highness emphasized the importance
of promoting dialogue through education and within the family.
Over three days 120 research papers were presented, discussing topics on
argumentation, rhetoric and debate. The conference had Arabic, along
with English, as the language of debate for the first time.
On the sidelines of the conference Qatar Debate Center launched a
specialized dictionary on “Debating Terms” in both Arabic and English,
during a special ceremony attended by H.E Dr. Mohammad Fathi Saud,
President of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community
Development. This dictionary is the first Arabic dictionary of its kind,
and it is the first step in fulfilling the center’s role as a community
of advocates for the leaders of tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Dr Hayat Maraffi, executive director, Qatar Debate Centre,
said that she was proud of the Arab participation in the conference, and
hoped that it will be a kick-start for a larger Arab presence in the
global debating arena in the future.
The press release can be viewed online: http://www.me-newswire.net/news/6783/en
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Qatar Debate Center
Ali Al Muftah, +974-44540347