Debaters from different parts of the world participating in the IDC Porto open.
IDC Porto Open
Azraf Uddin Ahmad
The International Debate Camp and the Porto Open was organised by the Sociedade de Debate da Universidade do Porto from July 21-29, 2012. This week long event was an opportunity for debaters from all over the world to sharpen their debating skills as well as to make new friends.
Though this event was only be in its second iteration, the presence of some top notch debaters made it a roaring success. Featuring famous debate lecturers including Michael Shapira, Maja Nenadovic, Hugh Burns, Ben Woolgar and Filip Dobranic, the debaters were taught the art of debating in the British Parliamentary format. The lectures and workshops enlightened the young debaters on the basics of debate to the realms of psychology. Interspersed among these mind boggling lectures were fun outdoor and indoor activities designed to ensure that the participants could communicate in a friendly environment. The cultural night was one of the events which allowed the participants to bond.
The Parque Do Rio Inn in Ofir was the home for this event, and Ofir's quiet and scenic atmosphere provided the debaters a great environment to relax and spend their free time.
After five days of hard work in the camp in Ofir, the participants moved back to Porto for the Porto Open. Porto Open consisted of 24 teams who debated over five preliminary rounds in the University of Porto's Science and Technology faculty. After five intense debates, eight teams were selected for the semifinals. The following day, the semifinalists gathered at the Architectural Faculty for the final day of debate. After the semifinal, the final four were selected to compete for the championship.
The finalists were Viktor Egri and Bologato Janos as Opening Government, Shaadmaan Siddiqui and Azraf Ahmad as Opening Opposition, Valdone Koliyatyte and Veronica Zhirnova as Closing Government and Ana Cunha and Matilde Lourenco as Closing Opposition. After an intense final, Shaadmaan Siddique and Azraf Ahmad from Bangladesh managed to win the debate and were the champions. Overall, the best speaker throughout the tournament was Matilde Lourenco.
After the closing ceremony, the greetings exchanged between the participants showed how close the contestants had become over the course of a single week. It was a clear indication that the IDC Porto was a massive success as it provided a platform for some brilliant minds from all over the world to produce solutions to the world's many problems and issues.