Rashedul Hasan Stalin
Chief Adjudicator, IUT 1st Bangladesh Open 2007
After a decade the debating community of Bangladesh for the first time has undertaken a massive initiative to arrange The Biggest Global Debating Championship in Bangladesh. Recently concluded IUT 1st Bangladesh Open 2007 brought 28 teams, 58 worlds' top adjudicators and many top debating universities from six countries to Bangladesh. Australia, India, USA, Pakistan, Malaysia and host Bangladesh were the grand participants in his Mega International Debating Event.
The Championship started from November 15 and continued till the excitements-filled finale on the 19th. This exclusive international debating championship was organised by Bangladesh Debating Council-BDC with the collaboration of the host Islamic University of Technology-IUT. Bangladesh International Tutorial-BIT, Channel 1, Washington Hotel Dhaka, AKTEL and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation were the other partners in the cChampionship.
This championship actually started its journey in Bangladesh with all the core requirements that are used in Worlds, Asians and Australs Debating Championships. We had the top Adjudication Panel; Worlds Debating Tab Software for team draws, Adjudication test, Debater and Adjudicator evaluation for the testing of the adjudicators' competence for the first time in Bangladesh which are very much essential for to host international debating championship.
The championship was one of its unique kinds. On November 14 we had the press conference in Washington Hotel Dhaka who was our official Hospitality Partner for the championship. The conference started with the introduction of our international participants to the media and announcing the key features of this competition.
On November 15 National and International participants started to arrive and finish their Hotel Check In formalities. The hotel was full with all the participants of IUT 1st Bangladesh Open 2007. We had the Opening Ceremony followed by Opening Dinner in Washington Banquette Hall on the same day.
Our Corporate Partner AKTEL distributed free mobile SIM with special corporate connection and One Lakh Taka life insurance to each of our participants.
Day two was focused on Core Debating and with adjudication Test. Two exclusive Business Class Volvo Buses were ever ready to transport our valued participants from Hotel to IUT Campus in Gazipur. The day stared with a mock Debate followed by Debaters and Adjudicators Briefing and Adjudication Test. We had two rounds of debates on that day in Worlds BP Format. Adjudicators ware ranked according to their performance in the adjudication test and the feedback from the debaters.
The next day was full of debating and Break Night Suspense. After having three rounds of debate in IUT Campus, participants then moved to PM Launch at Bannai for the Break Night DJ party. The party continued till the break night announcement where top 16 teams out of 28 teams were announced for the quarter final rounds. The adjudication core also announced the top 16 adjudicators to judge the knockout rounds of this championship. The quarter final of the Champions was held on November 19 in Washington Hotel simultaneously in its four grand ballrooms. The day was free for all the non breaking teams. We had a free day tour event for our international participants. They visited National Parliament, different places in Dhaka University, Shahid Minar and National Museum.
On November 19 eight teams debated in the Grand Semifinal in the Washington Hotel. The four teams then moved to the Grand Final of this Grand International Debating Championship. The Grand Final Venue was the Expensive and Prestigious Grand Ballroom of Five star Westin Hotel Dhaka. All the guests and participants were amazed to see the standard of Debating through the night. Then the Grand Dinner was offered to our international participants to enjoy Bangladeshi Food and Music.
The Adjudication Team:
Mr. Latif, the Chief Adjudicator for Asian Universities Debating Championship 2008, was DCA in the Australasian Debating Championship before, DCA of Asians twice and Brock in the Worlds Semifinal Debate. I was privilege to work with him as the Chief Adjudicator for this Championship. My adjudication achievement includes proposed DCA of Asian Universities Debating Championship 2008; I chaired three rounds in Worlds 2007 and four rounds in Asians 2005 as an adjudicator. I was the Chief adjudicator of three Pre World Schools from 2005-2007 and Chief adjudicator in the IUT National Debating Championships in 2005.
The World Class Adjudication Team was one of the main features of this Championship. Rashedul Hasan Stalin and Mr. Addul Latif were the two Chief adjudicators with other six international and local Deputy Chief Adjudicators (DCA) participating.
Before selecting the DCA's; Bangladesh Debating Council-BDC and host university IUT focused specially on the experiences of the adjudication panel. After having the preliminary selection for DCA's we have selected Claudia Newman-Martin from Australia, Alex Dukalskis from USA and Fareez Bin Zahir from Malaysia. The Local DCA's were Mohammed Saddam Hossain from IUT, Azim Ahmed from IUB and Alam Ishraq Chowdhury (Rudra) from NSU. In the Deputy Chief Adjudication Panel we had three worlds' top debaters with top Bangladeshi debaters and adjudicators who had the most experience from international debate. Their expertise includes:
Claudia ranked 5th best speaker in Australasian Debating Championship 2007. She adjudicated the Octo finals, semi finals and the Grand Final of Australian National Debating Championships in 2007. Claudia attended Australs in 2006 and her team broke 12th. She was the Undefeated Australian National Debating Champions at the Australian National Debating Championship in 2006. Alex was placed 7th 2004 US NPDA National Debating Tournament; 13th as a speaker in 2004 US NPDA National Tournament; Grand Champion, 2004 IDEA-NPDA Vilnius Open in Vilnius, Lithuania; 1st Speaker, 2004 IDEA-NPDA Minsk Open in Minsk, Belarus. Alex has conducted debate trainings in the US, China, Korea, Uganda, and the Czech Republic. Fareez Bin Zahir was the Chief Adjudicator for IIUM Debate League, DCA for National Inter-school Debate in Malaysia. Fareez Bin Zahir as debater has been very successful: broken at Australs, reached semi finals of Asian Universities Debating Championship AUDC, He was also crowned as Malaysian National champion.
Mohamed Saddam Hossain was ranked 26th in the Asians 2005 as an adjudicator, Being the National English Debating Champions in 2005, DCA for Pre Worlds Bangladesh from 2005 to 2007.
Azim got the highest point from Worlds in 2005, he was National Champion in the IBA Nationals in 2006, and DCA for Pre Worlds from 2005. Ruddra adjudicated in the World in 2005, was DCA in Pre World in 2007 and breaking adjudicator in many national debating championships.
To support this very experienced adjudication panel, Bangladesh Debating Council-BDC had 25 World Debaters and Adjudicators including Sara Lynch from Australian National University, Yem Mohammed from IIUM-the Convener of 2008 Asians in IIUM, Shameem Reza, Former AIDA Vice Chair, Broken in the Australs from Bangladesh, Chowdhury AA Quaseed-AIDA 3 Adjudicator, Semifinalist Public Speaker in 1996 Worlds, Adjudicated in the Final of Public Speaking in Worlds in 1997, got 13 points from worlds, Tanveer Ahmed Haroon-IBA Nationals Champion in 2006, Habibur Rahman-Top points holder from Worlds and IBA Nationals Champion in 2006, Mahbub Manik Breaking Grand Finalist adjudicator in Many Nationals, Anika Rahman, MM Ashiquar Rahman, Asad, Sabbir and many more.
Participants and the Results:
IUT 1st Bangladesh Open 2007 had 28 teams from six different countries including all the National Top English Debating Universities, Schools and Colleges. International Institutions that were registered as participants in the IUT 1st Bangladesh Open 2007 were IDEA from USA, ANU from Australia, IIUM from Malaysia, NLSU from India and Lahore Institute of Management from Pakistan.
After participating in five rounds of Debate, Quarter Finals and the Semifinals; four teams' moved to the Grand Final of the 1st Bangladesh Open 2007 in Westin Hotel. We had two teams from International Islamic University Malaysia B and A as the opening Govt and Opening Opposition and two teams from Bangladesh; BIT A and AIUB A in the Lower House. I chaired the final with my DCAs and other panelists from the adjudication core. The motion of the Grand Final was “This House Believes that Companies Should Not Hire the Smokers”. After one hour of debating battle IIUM A from Malaysia became champion in this Grand International Debating Championship. They were followed by IIUM B in the Second place, BIT A and AIUB A in third and fourth place respectively.
The debate could generate plenty of interest in the audience. The Chief Guest of the event, Vice Chancellor of IUT and other Special Guests distributed the Trophies to the winners. The Top Speaker of the Tournament was Tasneem from IIUM A. she was the top speaker in the Worlds Public Speaking in 2007 and was crowned as the ESL Champion in the last World Universities Debating Championship in Canada.
Announcements and Continuation:
Bangladesh Debating Council-BDC with its affiliated institution will be holding the Asian Schools Debating Championship in 2008 and will bid for Asian Universities Debating Championship for 2009. BDC also wish to continue this Global Debating Championship in Bangladesh annually with its other visions.
Thanks and see you again...
Special thanks to IUT and all the members of IUTDS, The Convener of this Championship Mabroor for excellent contribution with his dynamic IUTDS Team and Moderator of IUTDC for his leadership role. We would like to extend our gratitude to Lubna Chowdhury from BIT for her special interest and continuous support and to all of our Sponsors who helped BDC and IUT to run this grand championship smoothly.
Up close with Alex Dukalskis
Interviewed by Mahdin Mahboob and Feeda Hasan Shahed
SC(Star Campus): Please describe for our readers the event in brief the participating teams, the debate format and other such things?
AL(Alex) :I think there were around 24 teams, and the teams are two persons each and there was a mixture of high school students and university students some of the high school debaters looked very promising and one can only wonder what status they'll reach once they are in the universities. There were participants from two countries, Malaysia and Bangladesh, although the students from Malaysia were from different countries, including Sudan and other Middle Eastern countries.
SC :This debate, unlike most of the other debates held in this country, was in World Debate Format. Tell us a bit about this format.
AL :Ya, there are different kinds of debate formats, usually debate formats are one team against one team..
SC :Like Parliamentary Debates?
AL :Ya, exactly… However, here the emphasis is on a bit more subtlety, where the final two teams need to bring something new to this debate, so they have to support their side of the house, but in a different way.
SC :How is it different?
AL :In this format you are actually competing against people by arguing for the team points, but in a better way. You have to show that you are better by adding something new, which is like reaching the same end but in a different path. And it's modeled after the real world, parliaments, where there are coalitions; two parties might have the same end but different means to get there.
SC :Do you think this will pave the way for more such world debates here with participation from more countries in the future?
AL :Well, its certainly a possibility all these things start very small, the first one is always a trial run even with the first national World University Debate in US, there were only four or five countries. So, these things start small, and grow gradually. The progress of the internet and communications things move quicker these days. So I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years you see a really big, more diverse type of event.
SC :What is Bangladesh's scenario in perspective of the World Debate?
AL :I saw a lot of potential in Bangladesh's school kids and I won't be surprised if I see Bangladeshi debaters doing very well in an international tournament. A guy from BBC is teaching the debating skills to younger ones, who one day will teach even younger ones, so its like a snowballing effect. I went to Aga Khan School this morning and saw 40 students who have not done debate before but are interested and tomorrow I am going to the BIT school and it's the same situation there. Its very important because whenever we think of debate, we tend to think of it as an academic sport but it also includes critical thinking, the way young people look at the world, and the things they are interested in. The organization I work for encourages critical thinking and civic engagement this can lead to things like effective democracy and other benefits. These are important things, not only for developing countries, but also the developed world.
SC :What were the themes of the different debate sessions in this tournament?
AL :We had topics including environment, independence of Kurds in Iraq, space exploration, terrorism, multinational business and their responsibilities, human rights students are encouraged to be well versed in a variety of topics.
SC :I think that pretty much rounds up the discussion. Thanks a lot Alex.
AL :Thanks to you too.
Tasnim…(Student of 'Islamic International University, Malaysia, originally from Sudan ))
SC :How was the event did you like it?
TS :Tournaments like these are very good exposure for people. You learn a lot, you get a lot of new arguments coming from different perspectives. If you only debate within your own society, the same ideas are being passed around. But the moment you get to the international level, the moment you get to debate with Bangladeshi or Malaysian people, you get a lot of new perspectives and ideas.
SC :What do you think about Bangladesh?
TS :It's nice - I've been here for about four days, and it's so sad that our trip has to be so short, and most of our time is at the tournament. We couldn't do much sightseeing but went to Jamalpur, where our trainer, Abdul Lateef, who's from Bangladesh, took us to his home.
SC :Do you plan to come back to Bangladesh?
TS :Of course! I hope this will be an annual event so that we can come back here more often.
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