A trio of USJ college students within the finals of a global debate competitors

Young Lebanese continue to show the colors of a Lebanon that is internationally proud of. Three students from the Faculty of Law of the University of Saint-Joseph (USJ), Antoine Daher, Andréa Zmokhol and Marc Morcos, have qualified for the final of the Inter-University Debate Contest in The Hague that will take place tomorrow at the University of Applied Sciences in this city in the Netherlands. They will compete against the team from the University of Tours (France) on the theme “reflection on the history of continents at the level of international organizations”. Seven judges, chosen from among international professors of law and political science, will have to evaluate this final performance, which will take place in three phases: presentation of the problem and argument, lasting four minutes each, and conclusion of two. throughout the entire competition, it is only there that the protagonists know which position they should defend on the matter: at the beginning of the game, the moderator will assign them, by drawing lots, the position (for or against ) that they should adopt. “The exercise is difficult, even if the theme of each match is communicated to us ten days before the date”, confides Antoine Daher to L’Orient-Le Jour. Organized by the Corax Foundation – an NGO based in the Netherlands, which is especially dedicated to creating networking opportunities between academics and companies -, with the support of the French Institute of the Netherlands and the Catholic University of Lille (France), this French event -competition Linguistics is the work of a collaboration with the French presidency of the European Union (EU) and the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (AUF). Aimed at students of law and political science at French-speaking universities in 32 countries around the world, it offers them a platform that promotes an innovative approach to academic discussion on topics as varied as economics, international relations, health, the environment, law and political science. To reach this level, the team of three master’s students in business law went through an arduous circuit. Since the start of the competition last March, Antoine Daher, Andréa Zmokhol and Marc Morcos have indeed chained together and won six matches on topics chosen from among those that the French EU Presidency selected to work on as a priority during its term started last January. Artificial intelligence, technological sovereignty, carbon neutrality, so many subjects that were discussed respectively with students from the University of Poitiers (France), the University of Louvain (Belgium) and a Hungarian university, Eotvos Lorand. The Lebanese students then won the round of 16 against the University of Liège (Belgium) on a problem of participatory democracy. They won the quarter-finals against the Catholic University of Lille (France), for having firmly defended a position against teaching in schools an autonomous discipline of education for sustainable development, which would not be integrated with other disciplines. During the semi-final with Paris-I University (Panthéon-Sorbonne), the Lebanese trio was invited to oppose “the EU’s objective of having the highest level of vaccine protection in its Member States”, while the Paris I team it was on the contrary to defend this objective.

Excellence

Antoine Daher is “pleased to have reached such a level” and says he is “proud to represent the University of Saint-Joseph and Lebanon”. “I am happy to give my country a different image from the one it reflects in its current crisis”, he declares, welcoming “the support of the dean (of the law school Léna Ghannagé) and the professors at USJ”. In the same spirit, Marc Morcos is “very flattered” that he and his teammates have won the “appreciation” of their competitors. “Last March, they were surprised that we speak French. As our victories progressed, they admitted to us that, in the face of previous debates, they felt the need to prepare their work even more intensely,” he says. “We became formidable opponents”, rejoices Andréa Zmokhol, stressing that from the beginning, “the objective was to go as far as possible.” The three participants were chosen by USJ officials because they had already won inter-university championships in Lebanon. Marc Morcos was even a finalist in an Arabic language championship. They are all part of the Debate Club created by the university’s student life service, and as happy as they are to represent their university, Dean Léna Ghannagé is proud of them. “Our students have many skills and abilities. They have a good structure of thought and expression. Responsible and eloquent, they are also gifted with original ideas”, she says with satisfaction. “The Faculty of Law trained them in critical analysis, in the art of argumentation and supplication, and also in the defense of a demanding francophone”, adds the university official, congratulating himself on “the management provided by high-level professors. For Mrs. Ghannagé, the success of the students “above all shows that Saint-Joseph University maintains its level of excellence, regardless of the extent of the collapse that hits Lebanon”. “It will take a long time to understand the incredible talent of Lebanese youth,” she concludes.

Young Lebanese continue to show the colors of a Lebanon that is internationally proud of. Three students from the Faculty of Law of the University of Saint-Joseph (USJ), Antoine Daher, Andréa Zmokhol and Marc Morcos, have qualified for the final of the Interuniversity Debate Contest in The Hague that will take place tomorrow at the University of Sciences. ..

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