Sheikha Moza calls for constructive dialogue

January 12, 2013 - 3:06:21 am

H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser answering a question from the floor at the opening session of the Fourth International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, hosted by QatarDebate, Qatar’s national debating organisation and a member of Qatar Foundation. Maher Attar

DOHA: H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser opened the fourth International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment, at the Qatar National Convention Center, yesterday.

The conference in English and Arabic for the first time, and being organised by QatarDebate, a member of the Qatar Foundation, is scheduled with discussions, debates, and the sharing of ideas in depth that will enable more enlightened discourse in the 21st Century. 

“In today’s world, dialogue and debate are more important than ever before. After centuries of clashes and resentment, power struggles and conflicts, we now have unprecedented opportunities for dialogue and mutual understanding. And this dialogue cannot take place only between leaders,” said Sheikha Moza in her opening speech. 

“Dialogue creates a structure of awareness that must be between people across society and must be rooted in education,” she further said. 

“The challenges and conditions of the future require confident youth … youth with strong personalities … youth who have the acceptance of the other… who believe in dialogue and its logic… who use critical thinking as a means… who use the culture of peace and tolerance as a trend,” said Sheikha Moza. 

The conference is attended by scholars and educators from many fields for vigorous dialogue and exchange. 

It aims to unite scholars of argumentation and rhetoric, teachers, and organisers of local, national and international debating networks to discuss critical thinking and advocacy discourse through pedagogy.

The four-day conference will discuss many issues with both Arab and non Arab experts and share their ideas. 

The opening session featured a session on ‘Sand Art and Arabic Poetry: Qatar Past and Present,’ discussed by Shayma Al Mughairy and Sabah Rabia Al Kuwari. 

It was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Engaging Youth in Constructive Dialogue to Promote Peace Understanding and Mutual Respect’, moderated by Jassim Al Azzawi, Al Jazeera English with Professor Ibrahim Al Naimi, The Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID), Qatar, Dr Aisha Al Mannai, College of Shariah and Islamic Studies, Qatar University, Professor Alfred C Snider, University of Vermont, the US, Dr David Cratis Williams, Florida Atlantic University, the US and Dana Al Ansari, Carnegie Mellon University, as panelists. 

Case studies too were presented by various scholars at the conference on argumentation, rhetoric, debate and the pedagogy, both in English and Arabic. 

The Peninsula

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