DC-Area Students of Arabic Great-Debate Competition

مسابقة مناظرات مركز السلطان قابوس لغير الناطقين باللغة العربية

SQCC will hold a debate competition for students of Arabic as a foreign language from local universities in the DMV area.

To Qualify   

Each university must qualify three students to participate in the debate and represent the school. Debate contestants will fall into one of two categories: Category 1: Non-Native Non-Heritage Undergraduate and Graduate Speakers; Category 2: Non-Native Heritage Undergraduate and Graduate Speakers. Each university can choose to qualify three students for one or two categories of debaters.

Even though this competition is not an Arabic-language competition, its operational language is Arabic. Therefore, as obvious as it sounds, it is important to bear in mind that the debaters chosen to be on teams need to have advanced proficiency in Arabic.


The panel of judges will consist of two professors of Arabic and Dr. Abeer Al-Mohsen from SQCC. Judges will evaluate the contestants using the debate rubric.

Debate Date

The debate will be on Thursday, October 11th 


The debate registration deadline is Sunday, September 16th 

Registration Form Category 1: Non-Native Non-Heritage Speakers 

Registration Form Category 2: Non-Native Heritage Speakers

Please email your registration form to: contest@sqcc.org

Debate Construction Guidelines

Debate opens with the affirmative team that supports the resolution presenting their arguments, followed by a member of the opposing team. This pattern is repeated for the second speaker in each team. Finally, each team gets an opportunity for rebutting the arguments of the opponent. Speakers should speak slowly and clearly. The judges and members of the audience should be taking notes as the debate proceeds.

The sequence for debate is as follows:

• The first speaker on the affirmative team presents arguments in support of the resolution. (5 – 10 minutes)

• The first speaker on the opposing team presents arguments opposing the resolution. (5 – 10 minutes)

• The second speaker on the affirmative team presents further arguments in support of the resolution, identifies areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the opposition speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)

• The second speaker on the opposing team presents further arguments against the resolution, identifies further areas of conflict, and answers questions that may have been raised by the previous affirmative speaker. (5 – 10 minutes)

• The rules may include a short recess for teams to prepare their rebuttals. (5 minutes)

• The opposing team begins with the rebuttal, attempting to defend the opposing arguments and to defeat the supporting arguments without adding any new information. (3 – 5 minutes)

• First rebuttal of the affirmative team (3 – 5 minutes)

• Each team gets a second rebuttal for closing statements with the affirmative team having the last opportunity to speak. (3 – 5 minutes each)

• There cannot be any interruptions. Speakers must wait for their turns. The judges may need to enforce the rules.

Debate Timeline

The two teams of category 1 will go first. They will have a total of 60 minutes to finish their debate.

There will be a break of 15 minutes between the two categories

Then, the two teams in category 2 can start their debate. They will have a total of 60 minutes to finish their debate.

The decision of winning teams will be announced after 10 minutes of discussions among the judges.


Debate Topic

A selection of possible 4 topics will be sent out to participating teams (Selection of the topic will be done by drawings before the start of the debate)

(Teams will be given 10 mins to prepare for the chosen topic before they start)

Winning the Competition

There will be one winning team for each category. Each winning team will get a trophy with SQCC's logo engraved on them. Each student on the winning team will receive a certificate of recognition.