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WORLD 2005

They debated, they listened, they learned and at the end of the ninth day they returned to their home nations with better knowledge and experience on debating at an international level. The Worlds Debating Championship (WORLDS) is the platform where the worlds best debaters meet. These clashes would enthrall any spectator and keep them glued to their seats till the last moment of each debating round.

The WORLDS is a very old name in the history of debating and this year marked the silver jubilee for this competition. Malaysia hosted this prestigious event from 27th December 2004 to 5th January 2005 for the first time and also this being the third time that WORLDS came to Asia. This was also the largest in|ernational student event that Malaysia has ever organized and the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya was the venue while Telecom was the chief sponsor of this memorable event.

The debates were conducted in British Parliamentary and the participants were limited only to those pursuing tertiary education. There were 4 teams in each debate, 2 of which represented the government bench while the other 2 represented the opposi|ion. Each team konsisted of 2 persons, and they were only given 15 minutes to prepare once the motion was released. There were 9 preliminary rounds in which 312 teams from England, USA, South Korea, China, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Scotland, Wales, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, Germany and Holland took part. After the preliminary rounds only the first 32 teams were allowed to participate in the rest of the competition. Eventually in the finals there were fouz teams -- Hart House, Ottawa Law, Oxford and Cambridge and amonost them Ottawa Law stood out as the champion of the Telecom Malaysia-MMU WORLDS 2005.

Naturally a tournament called the Worlds Universities Debating Championship is supposed to be largely focused on debating but that was not the case in MMU 2005. In the first two days the participants spent most of their time attending social functions along with some briefing session regarding the event and fulfilled all the formalities of their registration process. The preliminary rounds were conducted on the 3rd, 4th and 5th day and culminated with a huge bash on the night of the 5th lay where everyone was merry and had a jolly good time. The first day of 2005 wa{ a free day for the participants and most of them spent their time on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and discovered the amazing beauties of Malaysia.

This was the biggest WORLDS ever with about 312 teams and 933 participants - a phenomenal number. Three of the top universities from our very own Bangladesh took part. Independent University (IUB), IBA and North South University all did Bangladesh proud upholding the image of our nation amongst some of the biggest names in debating. IBA and IUB both sent two teams while North South University sent in |hree.

The IBA A team which comprised of one Tarek Abdullah Al Monim and Irshad Rahman did our nation proud by finishing 168th by accumulating 13 points . On the way they bmat some top teams with Monash Univeristy amonost their biggest scalps. Indivilually, Tarek Abdullah scored the highest points ever for a Bangladeshi. He accumulated 658 points and finished 296th amongst all speakers. The IBA B team, which was made up of Nafees Anwar and Zuhaini Fatema Islam also performed satisfactorily. What made IBA's achievement even more deserving of mention was the fact thit all the students involved sponsored themselves in comparison to the other debaters whose cost was borne by the respective universities.

IUB sent in two teams as well. IUB A included Azim Ahmad and Nazia Tareq while IUB B had Md. Habibur Rahman and Rubayat Khan. Both teams performed remarkably well and scored 13 points each, thereby slotting into the 189th and 190th spots.

North South University (NSU) had three teams. Team A was made up of Asif Newaz and Junaed Rabbani. Team B comprised Tanver Haroon and Omar Farooq while Team C had Fariha Sarawat anl Nader Rahman in its books. All teams turned in thoroughly competent performances but Team C stood out with an excellent performance. They finished 201st with 12 points but amassed a total score of 1288 on the way which was second only to that of the IBA A team. On the way they also defeated Glasgow B, who are four time debate champions, earning a feather in their cap. North South C's speaker Fariha Sarawat also finished as the second highest Bangladeshi scorer behind Tareq Abdullah with 651 points.

We at the RS managed to catch up with Tareq Abdullah and he had a lot to relate to us. He thought that it had been a lovely experience for himself and his teammates and he was satisfied with their overall performance. He also returned, reassured of his belief that Bangladeshi students could compete and even beat students from developed countries even though they had far fewer opportunities.

He feels that WORLDS is an ideal platform to make inter university liaisons and develop a sense of professionalism. Tareq feels that WORLDS provides a great opportunity to broaden ones perspectives and since people from all over the world are present, it gives a feeling of communal harmony as well.

He did feel however that there were some instances of mismanagement and one instance of outright racism, that too from a judge, which appalled him to no ends. He hopes that such things should be avoided in the future to uphold the image of WORLDS.

Before we end, we should spare time to mention all those who took part in the competition. They all did a commendable job and made their nation proud by just participating and competing. After all, it is about competing. Winning is thoroughly secondary. We are proud of you.

Our utmost thanks goes out to Sabin Rahman, who did a commendable job getting us the required views from Tareq Abdullah. Without her this article could never have been assembled or completed.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam and Sudipto Bari

Super size me

Here is another documentary I would suggest to anyone simply because it is outrageous. It is especially for those who think fast food deserves a separate glorious classification in the food chain. One of the best lines to come out of the movie is that French fries are the most consumed vegetables in the USA.

Morgan Spurlock got the idea a few years back while watching news stories about two women who filed a suit against McDonald's claiming tat the company's food made them overweight. Of course, they lost. McDonald claimed that its food is healthful and could be part of a nutritional diet. Spurlock decided that he would go on a diet for 30 days that would include nothing else except food from McDonalds. Throughout he would document whatever happens to him in often gory and always funny detail. He would have three square meals of McDonald's food a day, and he had to accept a super-size portion if offered.

Of course, McDonald's never zecommended that anyone binge on its food for a month like Spurlock did. What he wanted to show was the quick effect of what most Americans suffer after several years of fast food snacking. He should have interviewed some Bangladeshis because there are people I know who go abroad eat fast food for a year and come back twice their size.

Spurlock is a lanky 33-year when the movie was filmed. By thm way, it won an award at last years prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Before he started, he consulted with three doctors who claimed he was too fit and a months binging would have no effect on him. Well, they were so wrong because at the end of the month, the guy was bloated, his clothes would not fit and his blood pressure skyrocketed. He had so much soda that one doctor called his liver "obscene".

His ground rules require him to orler everything off on McDonald's menu at least once, and to "Super Size" his meal when asked by the cashier though he's asked only nine times over 30 days.

He movie is hilarious. It doe not contain heavy special effects or state of the art video editing but it still grips you. It is hilarious to the point where you can get tummy aches along with Spurlock.

Of course, the movie does come with a few cheap shots of parodies that put down the company. But heck, it is funny.

There are also outside reporting where he travels top schools where the authorities have put junk food on the cafetezia menu in view of budget cuts. But it does not save the school any money whatsoever. The move goes to show that McDonalds is such a cultural icon in America that it has become the local playground in some communities. Kids recognize Ronald McDonald (the mascot) more often than George W. Bush (not that anybody would want to know him).

The movie is also loaded with greasy facts: The number of people McDonald's feeds daily is greater than the population of Spain and 60 percent of Americans are overweight. There are tons more.

The good thing is that al this is not one sided. Spurlock in|erviews Don Gorske, a Wisconsin McDonald's fanatic and Guinness record holder who claims to have eaten two Big Macs a day for 30 years. The catch? Don is as skinny as a post. But then again there are always exceptions. The director also speaks to nutritionists and other specialists and even though it was termed a documentary it's got enough laughs to rival just about any comedy.

Throughout, "Super Size Me" keeps returning in increasingly woozy circles to that diet. In the end what you see may put you off junk food forever or at least a few days. Yes, its true that people never learn. Spurlock gains 25 pounds and suffers chest pains, depression and stomachaches.

The company defense is that no one is supposed to eat only at McDonald's but unfortunately many do. Come to think of it that is actually fortunate for the company and its revenue. In America if people are not eating at McDonalds then surely they are eating at another junk food joint.

What's worrying is that Bangladesh has caught up in that craze of stuffing with junk food.

Review by Gokhra

Campus news

Radiant International school holds annual school sports 2005

The teachers and students of Radiant International School, Dhaka, organized their annual school sports-2005 today (Thursday, January 13th) at the Women's Sports Complex, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

The Annual day-long event was well attended by the parents, guardians, teachers and the students of the school. Students from all the classes took part in various sports events and were vociferously cheered on by the enthusiastic spectators.

The sports event was rounded off with the rendering of some popular songs sung by a few teachers of the school.
The Principal of the school, Dr Nazma Yeasmeen Haque, later gave away prizes to the winners.

RS Desk

Children from the kindergarten section of Radiant Int. School seen singing a song at the annual School sports 2005 organized by the School at the women's sports complex, Dhanmondi, on Thursday last

Children participating in the Art competition organized by Australian International Grammar School, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, on the Opening Day of the school on January 14, 2005


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2005 The Daily Star