Duke Wins 2022 U.S. Universities Arabic Debating Championship
Blue Devils are Arabic debate champions
-By Suzie Choi
October 26, 2022
The Duke Arabic Debate team won First Place at the third U.S. Universities Arabic Debating Championship (USADC) which was held at Stanford University from October 14th to 16th.
USADC is an annual competition that brings together the brightest students from top universities in the United States. Students debate critical global topics in Arabic, strengthen their language skills and engage in cultural exchange. Duke has participated in USADC since its establishment in 2019.
This year’s Duke Arabic Team was comprised of Majed Al Munefi, Saad Lahrichi, Danah Younis and Zeinab Mukhtar. The team was coached by Maha Houssami, lecturer of Arabic languages and interim Arabic program coordinator in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
“As a team, we came from different backgrounds and experiences, which is an excellent indicator of a successful team. Danah and I have debating experience, while Zeinab and Saad have strong foundations in political and economic topics. This combination made a fantastic mix that made our preparations strong,” said Majed Al Munefi, captain of the team who also won the best first Arabic language speaker at the competition. “As a team, we had a great training advantage, where Arabic faculty at Duke, like Maha and Saad, devoted their time to helping us and training us. Additionally, Duke alum Omar and Ameer (Class of 2022) made the competition much better with their presence and support.”
Facing students from 38 prestigious universities in the United States, the team was declared the 2022 U.S. Champion on October 16th.
“PLACING FIRST…IS NO SMALL FEAT AND A GREAT TESTIMONY TO HOW COMPETITIVE THE TEAM IS”
“I am particularly proud of how our Blue Devils used their critical thinking as they debated the final round motion on climate change, securing their win over the Harvard team,” said Maha Houssami. “I invite the Duke community to celebrate this triumph and look forward to coaching next year’s Arabic debaters.”