Think. Speak. Listen. All encompassed in CrossFire. Launched by the Education Portfolio, CrossFire is an initiative to showcase talent through articulation and debate of our youth among the UAE Jamat.  CrossFire, as the name suggests, was a night of showcasing presentation, public speaking and debate skills. The CrossFire debate competition of 2019 allowed 36 participants in 12 teams, ranging from the ages of 10 to 17 to debate topics applicable to the real world in two age categories (10-13 and 14-17). Some such motions included “violent video games are making people violent.”

“At the start, I was a little hesitant about joining the competition, since it would be my first ever debate - in front of a huge crowd - but eventually I worked up the courage and did it. I got to learn numerous things such as debating skills, presentation, communication styles and working together as a team as well as time management! It was a wonderful experience and I’d love to participate in more opportunities like this in the future” said Sara Bawany who won two awards; the best overall speaker and best introduction for the 14-17 age category.

CrossFire 2019 gave participants the opportunity to research topics such as technology, the environment, and education which are widely discussed today, and present their views on the topic either being affirmative or negative. Not everyone is a debater and this event created a platform for participants to unleash their potential. The debate topics required thorough research, analysis, and critical thinking which then had to be articulated in forms of arguments. One of the challenges for participants was the ability to think on the spot, especially for rebuttals. It was no surprise that the participants rose up to the challenge and not only debated successfully but also provided thought-provoking rebuttals. The 'for' and 'against' arguments gave the spectators a chance to hear two sides of the argument which are sometimes seen to be one-sided.

Another participant, Ishaan Virani, winner of the best arguments in the 10-13 age category said “The debate made me, and I expect most of my peers as well, find a new, more confident part of themselves. Everyone was wishing each other well, and the tension mixed with excitement during the awards ceremony was great. All the participants had a great time, especially me.”

An event such as this will encourage our youth to not only debate but to also research and present on topics that apply to their everyday lives.

It’s not about a one-sided perspective, it’s about CrossFire!

CrossFire 2019 Award Winners

10-13 age group 

Best introduction: Alisha Jamal

Best arguments: Ishaan Virani 

Best conclusion: Zeba Samnani 

Best speaker overall: Alisha Jamal 

14-17 age group

Best introduction: Sara Bawany

Best arguments: Sara Firdos

Best conclusion: Amsal Mohammad

Best speaker overall: Sara Bawany