Rabat - The Moroccan National Debate Team (MNDT) organized the first high school international debate tournament in Morocco on December 27th to 31st in Tangier with teams and judges from France, Croatia, South Africa, Spain, Canada and Morocco.
Rabat – The Moroccan National Debate Team (MNDT) organized the first high school international debate tournament in Morocco on December 27th to 31st in Tangier with teams and judges from France, Croatia, South Africa, Spain, Canada and Morocco.
MNDT was the first North African team to participate in the World School Debating Championship (WSDC) held last August in Thailand. This event was a chance for the national team to prepare for the 2015 WSDC in Singapore.
The teams battled it out for four days in debates and individual impromptu speaking with topics ranging from the removal of the UN Security Council Veto to western culture being imposed on developing countries by globalization. The event also hosted a culture expo where teams shared aspects of their cultural heritage.
By the last day of the competition, the American Language Center High School Debate Team made it to the finals after eliminating Team France in the semi-finals. They faced the MNDT for the Grand Finals at the Tangier-American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM) building in a hard-fought debate.
The adjudicators came to a final decision and the national team won by a split decision of 2 to 1. Mara Krnic from Team Croatia won the individual impromptu speaking contest.
“This tournament was an extraordinary experience. I had the chance to meet truly amazing people,” Mara told MWN. She adds: “the event was well organized and introduced me to a completely new culture.”
Zakaria el Jabri from the MNDT won the Best Debater of the event. “It was truly a breath taking experience. The first edition was a complete success and I am sure that it will become one of the world’s prestigious tournaments in the near future,” he said.
The Moroccan Open Debate Tournament (MODT) was the first of many editions to come. The organizers hope to be able to attract more teams from the region for the next edition. But for now, there are not too many international events for Moroccan high school students in Morocco.
“The MODT represents the history of Morocco in the making. It embodied cultural exchange on an international scale with a brilliant exhibition of talent and intellectual dynamism that is rarely witnessed from the Youth of Morocco. This tournament definitely predicts a bright future where Debate is going to allow the future generations of Morocco to excel beyond our greatest expectations,” said Pearl Sahibdeen, MNDT Assistant Coach and a teacher at the ALC in Tangier.
For most, these events are only available abroad and the MODT is a great chance for the Moroccan debaters to compete against international teams and meet stimulating and inspirational people from all over the world.