The relaunched Doha Debates, a Qatar Foundation (QF) production, held its first live debate on the world's urgent and worsening refugee crisis in the presence of H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of QF, yesterday.
H E Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of QF, was also present at the debut of the new Doha Debates series held at the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q).
The debate on 'Global Refugee Crisis: worsening conditions, real solutions,' examined how best to solve the global refugee crisis, which has led to more than 25 million people being forcibly displaced across borders.
Marc Lamont Hill, a US professor of Media, Cities and Solutions at Temple University, and an activist and award-winning journalist, Douglas Murray, a British author, award winning journalist and political commentator and Muzoon Almellehan, a Syrian refugee, education activist and the youngest-ever Unicef Goodwill Ambassador presented their view and opinion on global refugee crisis.
The debate moderator Ghida Fakhry challenged participants to focus on solutions to the refugee crisis, while the debate's digital host, Nelufar Hedayat, highlighted ideas from the international audience participating via Twitter. The Doha based audience then voted on the most effective solution to the global refugee crisis, choosing 'Resist power. Push back as proposed by debate participant Lamont Hill.
Lamont Hill said, "We can acknowledge the moment and that we have borders — we can't pretend we don't. But we also can't obsess about this. We can reimagine ourselves as a global community rather than a local community." Almellehan, spoke of the importance of education in giving refugees hope. "Many of us think of refugees as numbers, but behind every number, there is a story." Why judge people at a time when they need hope, believe in a better life, and want to build a future for themselves and their children?" she said.
Murray highlighted 'competing virtues' in the context of migration. "The first virtue is mercy, the desire to be merciful to fellow humans who are suffering. And the second is justice — not just for those who are fleeing countries, but for those in the countries they are fleeing to," he said.
Sanam Naraghi Anderlini was the debate's bridge-building 'connector.' She combined elements of each opinion to create an unorthodox, challenging response that de-constructs arguments and examines their consequences. Anderlini is the founder and executive director of International Civil Society Action Network, which works to prevent violent extremism by promoting peace, rights and pluralism worldwide.
The full debate, and highlights of the event, can be viewed on Doha Debates' website and social media channels, with the conversation continuing online using the hashtag #DearWorld.
Doha Debates' new concept builds on the tradition of examining complex global issues established by its original launch 14 years ago, through live debates, digital videos, a TV series, and blogs and podcasts on the world's most pressing challenges. This innovative approach includes majlis-style discussions designed to bridge differences, build consensus and identify solutions to urgent global issues.
The next live Doha Debates event is set to take place on April 3 at NU-Q, with a debate on the merits and challenges of Artificial Intelligence.