Four Bruneians to compete at International Arabic debate in Doha

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FOUR students of the Hassanal Bolkiah Arabic Secondary School (SMALHB) and their trainer yesterday left for Doha, Qatar to participate in the third International School Arabic Debating Championship.

The competition, hosted by Qatar Debate Center will be held from April 10 to 13 where 53 countries will take part in this year’s competition.

This is Brunei’s first participation in the competition since its introduction in 2011.

According to the trainer, Pg Hj Asmadi Pg Hj Aliuddin who is also the acting principal of Mahad Islam Brunei, the participants are prepared for the competition although they can use the stage to learn the different debate techniques used by international foreign students.

“Preparing for this debate competition can be a daunting task, and since it’s our first time, it might be harder for the student,” he told The Brunei Times.

“However, we have been preparing for this competition since January and I believed the participants are ready to compete as long as they are confidentt,”.

Pg Hj Asmadi mentioned that the topic of discussion will not touch on the issue of religion but more on politics, economy and social.

Being an ideal learning environment for the representatives, Pg Hj Asmadi said the competition is a great platform for them to gain exposure from an international competition.

“The competition would provide the opportunity for Bruneian students to grab something new that will be useful for future representatives,” said Pg Hj Asmadi.

He said if the representatives do not win the competition, they should not be discouraged, as learning the intricacies of the competition will already be beneficial for Brunei’s future participation.

One of the participants, Md Najiihuddin Nooralizam said that they have to deal with two different situations: the language and debating skills.

“Knowing that we will be competing with Arabic people (who converse fluently in Arabic), we need to take a big step in understanding their way of speaking as well as their way in delivering their presentation,” said the 17-year-old participant.

Md Najiihuddin hopes the knowledge and experience from their participation at the competition can be shared with future participants for better planning and preparation in future contests.

The Islamic Studies Department in a press statement said besides competing with other countries worldwide, the main objective of Brunei’s participation is to strengthen the Arabic language proficiency among students of Arabic school through extra-curricular activities.

The Brunei Times