How amazing to have students prepare arguments, in English, and speak in public. Just having achieved this is a great thing.
I know my group . . . didn't have much time to prepare and as a consequence their content was quite weak. Their will to participate meant that this wouldn't hold them back. Then, at the end all three were so proud of themselves. One of them . . . told me that she had been truly terrified. But she'd been prepared to put herself through this ordeal. She then told me that it was the first time ever that she'd spoken in public - she'd not performed before, even in front of a small group, even in Arabic. She then said that now she knows that she can both speak in public and do this in English. And so she's going to participate again. She was very grateful to have had the experience and boost to self-esteem.
I also spoke with the Gulf News representatives [Bala and Sanjay]. The two blokes told me how MUCH they'd enjoyed the debate, how impressed they were with the students - their energy confidence insight humour and force. They had also been impressed by your previous 'debate on debates'. They told me to thank you on their behalf.
I also talked to [Aida Al Busaidy] and [Maysam Ali]. They shared similar views. They were amazed to hear also that many of the women would be from the Northern Emirates. They're keen to cover events outside of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so will be in touch again with you, CHSS and probably Maryak Bayshak. They want to know about any 'event' going on here that would be interesting to cover.
Dr Rachel Johnson
Assistant Dean, Planning and Assessment
Associate Professor, Psychology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Permit me to add to Rachel's encomium my own hearty written congratulations
to you and our faculty colleagues for an extraordinarily successful start to
the debate culture on campus. It would not have been nearly so wonderful
without your personal skill in bringing it all together. Today's Gulf News
has two splendid stories. It was a great occasion, and the students'
enthusiasm was wonderful to behold. No doubt word is spreading among
students and you may be swamped with more recruits and the need to move to a
larger venue next time!