The United Asian Debating Championship (UADC), an annual debating tournament for teams from universities in Asia, is the largest inter-university parliamentary debate tournament in Asia. UADC 2018 was held in Indonesia recently. This year's tournament was historic for Bangladesh debating community. Out of the five participating teams, four of them made it to the knockout rounds and two of them fought for glory in the finale.
Fatima Ara Khan interviewed the members of the winning team - Zobayer Ahmed, Aaqib Farhan Hossain and Mahmudul Hasan Nabil. All are students of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). They shared their experiences of UADC 2018 and provided their insights about debating in general.
Q: How was the overall experience of UADC 2018?
Zobayer Ahmed: To be on the forefront of these achievements representing Independent University, Bangladesh was a privilege and a dream. The fancy hotel, delicious local food and gala nights ensured there was plenty of fun and pleasure in between the intense debates. In short, it is a tournament we will remember for a very long time.
Q: Tell us how your team prepared for UADC 2018.
Aaqib Farhan Hossain: Preparing for UADC has been relatively tough since both members of the team were working professionals who had their work to cope up with. But we made it possible with hours of reading debate articles, watching videos. There were also practice debates with the other team members who have participated in this tournament as well. Also, a lot of tournaments were conducted before UADC which has helped to boost up regarding competition.
Q: For the first time, there was an all Bangladeshi final. What was going through the debaters?
Mahmudul Hasan Nabil: I guess that one word describes it all. We are where the collective support of the whole circuit has brought us to. Their constant help and appreciation brought us to this place where we could see a Bangladeshi flag hung at the podium and not on the side of a table. This is just a reminder for all of us that we can make every impossible happen. Most importantly, the domination showcased by two Bangladeshi teams in the final proves that the future of debating in the country is exceptionally bright.
Q: What are the major takeaways from UADC 2018?
Aaqib Farhan Hossain: First of all, it is always exciting to participate in an international tournament. Even Bandung, Indonesia is a fantastic place for travelling. The experience has been very overwhelming. What can be a better way of learning than from all the debaters from all around Asia.
Q: What are the significant factors contributing to the recent success of Bangladeshi debaters in foreign competition?
Zobayer Ahmed: The growth of the circuit has always been a significant factor. Both universities and schools have been contributing in creating success for the foreign competitions. It all starts from the school where the debaters are trained from scratch. They are prepared by the highly professional debaters who have achieved great success from both home and foreign tournaments. Furthermore, compared to the past, there is now a higher level of participation since more teams receive financial support from universities.
Q: Do you have any suggestion for future debaters aiming for glory in the global arena?
Mahmudul Hasan Nabil: Bangladesh debating circuit has always been the most supportive one. The best advice for the future debaters would be to have faith and believe in our circuit.
There are numerous YouTube channels, videos and previous debates on the Internet. Would-be debaters should watch them and practice. Above all, work hard and have confidence over yourself.
The writer is a student of Department of Economics, Independent University Bangladesh. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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