British Council, in partnership with Anna Lindh Foundation, launches Young Mediterranean Voices Dialogue in Lebanon

The British Council, in partnership with Anna Lindh Foundation celebrated the closing ceremony of ‘Young Mediterranean Voices Dialogue Forum: Lebanon’ on 1 December 2018 at the University of Saint Joseph, Campus of Innovation and Sports, at the Francois Bassil auditorium.

50 young pioneers participated in debate sessions on the first day of the competition, Friday 30 November. The 10 participating teams were the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO), Team AUB, Team Mizyara from the North, the Beirut Lebanon Hub, Himaya Daeem Aataa (HAD), Team BAU (Beirut Arab University), Team LCAC (Lebanese Centre for Active Citizenship), Team Youth Committee, Team GIL (Generation of Innovation Leaders), Team Ribat from the North Hub, Al Safadi Foundation, Team Bussma and Al Multaqa from our South hub, and the Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA).

The teams competed in 5 groups simultaneously over 2 rounds around motions such as: This house believes in the need to look for alternative and renewable energy sources in Lebanon This house will legalize the growing of cannabis for medical purposes in Lebanon. In addition to that, team Balamand took part of the online debating programme Virtual Exchange by Anna Lindh Foundation and debated virtually with their peers from Albania, Sweden and Palestine.

On the second day, the 4 qualified teams, PYO, AUB, Mizyara and Youth Committee debated for the semi-finals on the motion.

This house believes in returning Syrian refugees to safe areas inside Syria to lessen the socio-economic burden in Lebanon after which the adjudicators selected the team AUB and Mizyara as the finalists. The final championship’s motion was: This house supports the women rights for citizenship in Lebanon. Both teams were debating with fierce and confidence and reason which made the deliberation process with the adjudicators very challenging until they reached to a decision and declared AUB as the winner of Young Mediterranean Voices Dialogue Forum in Lebanon.

At the end of the rounds, MPs Elias Hankash and Alain Aoun joined the audience in addition to Mr. Rein Nieland Head of Governance at the European Union in Lebanon, Ms. Aida Ridanovich, Director of Med Forum 2020, Ms. Regina Salanova, Coordinator of the Anna Lindh Foundation and David Knox, the British Council Country Director. Influenced by the spirit of the debate, the 2 MPs were divided into 2 groups supporting 2 experienced debaters from each team and debated on: This house believes for the sake of democracy, Lebanon will lower the electoral age to 18 to ensure youth participation.

The debate was heated with strong arguments and counter arguments presented from the government and opposition sides. Following the debate, an open discussion moderated by Mrs. Waad Hachem from Al Aarabi TV opened he floor to the young participants in the audience, to comment on youth related issues and priorities.

Finally, prizes and trophies were given to the winner 2018, the first runner up, the best male debater and the best female debater.

About the Young Mediterranean Voices Programme:

Young Mediterranean Voices seeks to empower young people to enhance a culture of dialogue, to contribute to public policy and shape media discourses, and to create a shared understanding with peers

across the Mediterranean on how to address issues of common concern to their communities. This programme is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya and co-funded by the European Commission.

Source: National News Agency