Debate Team Wins National Championship for Third Year in a Row
The Georgetown Debating Union (GDU) at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), emerged victorious for the third year in a row at the National QUDL championship, which saw 28 teams from 10 universities compete in the 2022-2023 season, with the team of Dung Tran (SFS’26) and Pragyan K. Acharya (SFS’24) clinching the victory. Pragyan was also named the Best Speaker of the Grand Finals and the overall Best Speaker of the National Championship, capping off an outstanding performance by the GDU team.
The GDU team swept the Best Speaker awards, with Dung Tran (SFS’26) coming in second, Gaebriel Olsen (SFS’25) fourth, Tashafee Masoodi (SFS’26), Raed Asad (SFS’25), and Adrian Lopres (SFS’24) tying for fifth,Yaseen Muhammad (SFS’25) placing ninth, and Minahil Mahmud (SFS’26) taking home tenth. Tashafee Masoodi (SFS’26) was also named the Best Novice Speaker of the National Debating Championship, with Anupa Khanal (SFS’26) coming in second place.
The Qatar Universities National Debating Championship hosted by QatarDebate is an annual debate competition that brings together some of the brightest varsity-level debaters from across Qatar to compete against one another in a series of intellectually rigorous and engaging debates.
First year student Bayan Kayyali (SFS’26), who only began debating at GU-Q, reached the semi-finals of the championship with teammate Minahil Mahmud (SFS’26). She said her international affairs studies play a pivotal role in her approach to debating a host of global topics.
“Whenever such a motion comes up, it provides me with an opportunity to apply some of the concepts I have touched on through my courses within the context of a debate that engages with both sides of the issue.” Teammates Adrian Lopres (SFS’24) and Gaebriel Olsen (SFS’25) also joined them in the semi-finalist winner’s circle, with teams Anupa Khanal (SFS’26) and Tashafee Masoodi (SFS’26), and Raed Asad (SFS’25) and Yaseen Muhammad (SFS’25), reaching finals.
From his first year at GU-Q, veteran debater and club president Pragyan has helped lead the team to numerous victories.
“Our team has an incredibly talented and dedicated group of debaters who are passionate about the sport and committed to achieving excellence,” he said. “The culture of hard work, dedication, and continuous improvement that we have built will continue to drive the team forward, and I have no doubt that this team will achieve even greater success in the future.”