“A tribute to the intercultural dialogue”: Successful Euro-Med Debate Online Competition 2020

In the frame of the EU commission’s pilot project “Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange”, the second edition of the Euro-Med Debate Online Competition took place from 18th to 26th April this year.

Building up on the successful first competition in 2019, the activity once again brought together 40 debate teams from within the EU and the Southern Mediterranean.

Young people from diverse backgrounds and students from higher educational institutions met online and debated topics about current social challenges and world events such as: democratic rights, education, climate change, immigration and power dynamics. They were supported by a resource network of Debate Team Leaders, Trainers and Adjudicators.

In the grand final of the competition Team Brussels-Tripoli-Napoli met Team Cairo 1 with the topic “This house believes that a multipolar world is better than a unipolar one”. The final was also open for spectators coming from the other teams.

In the end, after many well-prepared arguments on both sides, ALF President Elisabeth Guigou announced the winning team Brussels-Tripoli-Napoli lead by Debate Team Leader Burak Yusmak from Germany which could convince the adjudicators the most.

Burak Yusmak’s team was composed of debaters from seven nations, reflecting the diversity and interculturality the activities of Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange stand for.

©Erasmus+

Voices of Competition Participants:

“We are honoured to participate in this innovative virtual program as a team representing Beit-Sahour City, a small city in Palestine-west bank. Despite the lock down in our city due to Covid-19 pandemic spread, the competition gave us the opportunity to meet new groups from intercultural cities, since the competition encouraged us to express ourselves clearly in order to be effective in our communities.” – Team Beit-Sahour

“I found this competition extremely interesting. It was an exciting educational experience, a tribute to the intercultural dialogue and the value of critical thinking, that motivated me to perform at the best of my capacities. 
I recommend it to all the young people that are interested in being empowered and actively involved in tackling the major social challenges of the civil society.”
– Jacopo, Debate Team Leader, Team ALF Ankara

“This competition was a great learning configuration that gave us, as youngsters, the chance to deepen our knowledge and challenge ourselves. These sorts of experiences are undoubtedly eye-opening and somehow boosting our critical thinking. I would strongly recommend a similar experience to all the youngsters who are seeking self-actualization as well as willing to combat social challenges.” – Esmeralda, Debate Participant, Team ALF Ankara

„I had never participated in an international debate. The experience has been enriching not only for the skills developed by team work but also for the life skills concerning intercultural dialogue. Our team understood how to learn together and how to enhance the skills of each of us. We have discovered and known the common challenges, values and traditions present in the Euro-Mediterranean area as well as we have understood that as young people living in the area, we have in common the desire to imagine and build a better world – Luana, Debate Team Leader, Team Lecce

“Participating in the Euro Med Debate Competition 2020 was an exciting and inspiring experience! I am glad I overcame my initial fears and seized the opportunity to reflect on relevant social and political issues from different perspectives and to discuss them with other young debaters from the Mediterranean region. I was able to meet very interesting people from many different countries during a lockdown and I learned a lot from each one of them!” – Martina, Debate Participant, Team Brussels-Tripoli-Napoli

“This experience has allowed me to pursue one of my passions which is debating, it was a great team building and leadership opportunity” – Djoumana, Debate Team Leader, Team Algeria

My experience as a team leader made me a different person with a better way of thinking, I had a very insightful and rich experience” – Ahmed, Debate Team Leader, Team Alexandria 1

The Erasmus Debating competition was a life changing experience for me. It is like building bridges between different cultures – Darean, Debate Participant, Team Alexandria 1

In fact, I did not imagine that I would have an experience of that excitement and benefit, we went through several stages until we reached the final, and we affected each stage very positively, especially since that experience came with the Corona epidemic, and I am grateful to everyone who shared with me that important experience that was an opportunity to discuss issues that affect our reality and our lives in a civilized way” – Abdel-Rahman, Debate Team Leader, Team Cairo 1

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