The student debate team at Qatar Foundation partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), the Georgetown Debating Union (GDU), has had a great start to the season, winning the top three team honours and dominating in the top speaker category in the first edition of the Qatar Universities Debate League (QUDL) for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Held virtually and in the British Parliamentary (BP) format, this is the first of three tournaments in the QUDL season. The university earning the highest aggregate league points over all three events will be named the league champion. This first tournament places GU-Q’s team in the lead, as they look to retain their title as the reigning champion of Qatar’s college-level debate circuit. The GDU was crowned winner of both the QUDL and Qatar Universities Nationals Debate Tournament for 2020-2021.
“We have had a significant influx of novice debaters in the GDU, and they performed excellently at the first QUDL,” said GDU team captain Pragyan Acharya, who has 28 active club members under his leadership. “This group of debaters, who are overwhelmingly first-year students, are very committed, and regularly attend our weekly training sessions.”
After three rounds of competitive debate at the tournament, the top three out of the 20 participating teams representing universities across Qatar Foundation and Qatar University were announced. First place was awarded to the team of Anna Baramidze (GU-Q, '24) and Acharya (GU-Q, '24), second place to Adrian Lopres (GU-Q, '24) and Asma Shakeel (GU-Q, '24), and third place to Dalva Raposo (GU-Q, '24) and Shaheer Liaqat (GU-Q, '24).
In addition to the top three honours, the GDU also pulled a clean sweep of the top speakers of the competition. Acharya was ranked Best Speaker, while Raposo, a first-time participant, came in second place, with Shakeel and Baramidze tied for third place in the category. Liaqat earned fifth place, Lopres sixth and Raed Asad (GU-Q, '25), also a first-time participant, finished 10th.
Acharya noted that the team is focused on training to prepare for the next tournament in the league through online and in-person sessions to familiarise the newest members with the BP format. “I am hopeful that our hard work and training will further elevate the quality of BP debating at the GDU, and contribute to an engaging and challenging debating community in Qatar,” said Acharya. The debaters also attended the 'British Parliamentary 101' session recently conducted by the QatarDebate Centre.