Monday welcomed some rain and cooler temperatures in Oxford, so the students escaped to the Oxford Union for some indoor excitement. The Oxford Union, founded in 1823, is a debating society that has been host to many speeches and debates led by eminent politicians, famous musicians and actors, and leading figures from the world of sport, science, journalism and the arts.
The Union attracts the most well-renowned speakers from all walks of life including the US Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Imran Khan, Shakira, Dr Jane Goodall, Sir Ian McKellen and Anna Wintour.
First, the students were lead by Sam and Seham in the Debate Masterclass, where they were taught the British Parliamentary style of debating. The British Parliamentary style is quite interactive as it allows for interruption of the opponent’s speech with points of information. Ahmed was very involved in the practice debates and presented well-constructed and very passionate arguments.
Ioannis mastered the art of interruption early, jumping up from his seat every time he had a question or an opposing point to make. Georges enjoyed the debates, but approached the topics with a much more jovial attitude and had a few laughs during his turn to speak when arguing for France’s superiority and leadership position in the EU.
Competing in the finals were the pairs of Gabriel and Ioannis, Annabelle and Uma , the runner-up Eileen and Jaswinder, and the winning pair – Camille and Shehrbano. In the end, applause filled the debating chamber as everyone congratulated each other on a great evening of debate.