Fez – When I moved to Morocco from America in February of this year, I knew that I was moving into the future. I had lived for some time in Qatar, and had grown up in Los Angeles– both of these places are very forward looking and future oriented, full of potential and promise. But nowhere on earth has filled me with the sense of growth, dynamic change, possibility and joy that I have found in Morocco.
The Moroccan National Debate team–the first ever debate team to make it to the international debate championships in Thailand this summer–is a fitting symbol for Morocco’s bright future. As a two-time national speech and debate champion (in Improptu and Extemporaneous Speech) in America, I have seen firsthand how debate can change the lives of people, institutions and even countries for the better.
Debate is an inseparable part of a healthy society; it encourages freedom of discussion, flexibility of thought, and openness to new ideas. The recent burgeoning of interest among the Moroccan youth in debate shows, more clearly than any other indicator, that Morocco’s future is intellectually engaged, curious, forward thinking and going places.
One of those places will be Thailand this August, for the 2014 International Debate championships. Even making it into this competition has been a historic accomplishment for its dedicated coach, Soufiane Choubani. Accompanied by his team of brilliant and hardworking Moroccan youth, Soufiane has campaigned tirelessly for the Moroccan National Debate Team to have the opportunity to represent Morocco in Thailand, but it has been an uphill battle.
All across the world—from California to Thailand—the story of the Moroccan debate team and its historic attempt to make it to the international competition is inspiring debaters, coaches, students, thinkers, and Moroccans who are proud of the direction that their youth are taking. Let us join together to support this incredible team, by spreading the word about their accomplishments.
Support the team by donating the money, through their website (teamMorocco.org), that would allow them to represent Morocco’s bright future in Thailand. As their new Assistant Debate Coach, I for one am very optimistic about our chances at a historic victory at this competition, InshAllah!