Young members of the Qatar Foundation (QF) community are developing their capacity to become critical and analytical thinkers, through a series of workshops intended to help them shape their futures.
QatarDebate, a member of QF that encourages students to reach the heights of their human potential through debate learning programs, is taking a group of children of QF staff from the basics of debating to the point where they are accomplished, confident, and effective in the discipline, through a seven-week program.
The third iteration of the established series began on 14 April 2015, at the Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center, with 25 students receiving an introduction to debate and critical thinking.
During the workshops, they will cover topics including argumentation, public speaking, the format of debates, and building a case for and against a proposition. The skills they will learn are designed to enhance their academic and career prospects and personalities, allowing them to make greater contributions to their community and to Qatar’s future.
“I have taken part in debating competitions, and I felt this was a great opportunity to build my skills,” said workshop participant Amna Salatt, a Grade 10 student at Al Jazeera Academy.
“Through this workshop, I feel I will be able to better learn how to build an argument and further develop my public speaking abilities and I have already learned about logical fallacies and errors in reasoning. This workshop is important for me, because it will allow me to better express myself at university, and to a future employer.”
Sara Al Shaibi, a Grade 10 student at Al Jazeera Academy, is also a member of the workshop series, and said: “I want to build my confidence about speaking in public and be able to better formulate an argument better – we all have opinions, but sometimes it is not easy to express them – and from what I have already gained from the workshop, I feel it will certainly develop my skills as a critical thinker.”
The workshops are being led by Alex de Jager, English Debate Coach, QatarDebate, who explained to the students that they must make their own arguments heard while also appreciating those of others, and emphasized the value of debating skills. “Virtually all of the world’s top companies now see critical thinking as one of the most important qualities they are looking for in an employee,” he said.
“It is possible for someone to say things that are completely true, but reach the wrong conclusion because the logic is absent; and for a person to reach the right conclusion despite faulty premises. As debaters, you want to make statements that are true, but also to put them together in a logical way.”
His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Founder of Qatar Foundation (QF), and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, attended Qatar Foundation’s Convocation 2015, which was held at Qatar National Convention Centre.
Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recognized five students of its partner universities at the 2015 President’s Award Ceremony. Award winners, all senior students graduating this year, are noted for their academic excellence and outstanding service within and beyond Education City.
Held at the new building of HBKU’s Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, on Thursday, 30 April, award winners were presented with certificates of achievement and commemorative medallions by Dr Ahmed Hasnah, President of HBKU, and Dr Khalid Al-Khanji, Vice-President of Student Affairs at HBKU.
The recipients of the 2015 President’s award are: Ibrahim Sultan AlHashmi (Northwestern University in Qatar), Marium Saeed (Northwestern University in Qatar), Noha Fahmy (Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar), Tarek Alhariri (Carnegie Melon University in Qatar), and Ayman Al Jurdi (Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar).
Nineteen students with a grade point average of 3.6 and above were nominated for the President’s Award 2015 by the deans of their respective universities. Potential finalists then completed an evaluation process during which they had an opportunity to explain to the selection committee how they created a positive impact on the community through their out-of-class involvement, and what they gained from those experiences.
Qatar Foundation (QF) will mark the academic accomplishments of the class of 2015 at a convocation ceremony on Tuesday 5 May, 2015.