“Please welcome the members of both houses Orion and Pegasus..” and the doors of H4 slammed wide open, the sunlight entering the dimly lit hall, and the members walking in with great enthusiasm. This is how The Intelligent Question’s biggest event of the year, The Great Debate, started on the 24th of April.
After the members took their seats on both sides of the hall, The Board of Adjudicators were introduced followed by each house’s Leaders. Unlike the traditional way of introducing someone by calling his/her name, the last leaders from each house: Youssef Ayman and Kareem Youakim, stormed in after a video of them debating on who should eat a sandwich. As funny and unexpected that was, both of them made up and were our hosts for the day.
The day started off with a fiery debate in which the House Leaders and the board of adjudicators participated. The motion was “This house believes that sexism in media is not that big of a deal.” The government’s support was revolving around the idea that the media is only a mirror which magnifies a problem that already exists in reality, but when it comes to change, it should start from people themselves. On the other hand, the Opposition disagreed, arguing that the relation between the media and the people is a vicious cycle and right at its center is the media which is solely fueled by profit. Right after the opening teams’ speeches, the audience was asked to participate by addressing questions to either the government or the opposition for an on spot response.
Following that was a short lunch break accompanied by some beautiful melodies played by the GUC Music Ensemble who added a new flavor to the event.
The second debate stated that “This house believes that the proposed new Egyptian Government will lead to prosperity.” This time, the public speakers weren’t students, they were actually politician Hussien El Sayed, a member of the Free Egypt party, as Government, and Professor Hussam Salama, a lecturer of Architecture, as Opposition. The Government agreed that this will theoretically save Egypt, and it’s not just the relocation, it’s the new thoughts, administration, and parliament that will help Egyptians cope with the new century we are living in. The Opposition disagreed by reasserting that advertisements are over rating everything including the target population which is not 5 million people, but in fact only 2 million, and that there have been attempts to change the capital of Egypt 28 times through history but obviously none of them prospered.
Shortly after, the debate we were all dying for started. With confidence covering their nervousness, the finalists sat down and waited for the adjudicators’ call to start the debate. “This house believes that Egypt has never been weaker” was the motion and it goes without saying, it was entertaining. Maie Korayem, Deputy Prime Minister, highlighted how health care went from bad to worse. “The children cancer hospital doesn’t represent health care in Egypt, it doesn’t represent the shortage in blood or the amount of people that pass away because there is no time to get them blood transfer”. Omar Saleh, Opposition Leader, reminded us that “in the last few years, Egypt has been through 2 revolutions. These revolutions made Egypt strong. People who go through struggles come out stronger than they were.” Afterwards, supporting the government, was Jailan El Rafie, Member of the Government, who refuted some points mentioned by the opposition regarding health, stating that “22% of the population are infected by hepatitis C, 19 million cigarettes are smoked annually in Egypt, as for drugs usage it has actually increased from 6% to 30% since 2011.”
Lastly, Aya Moataz, Opposition Whip, decided to shed a little light by saying “every single country has bad points and also has good points, if we exclude the good points and concentrate on the bad ones only I’ll say we are weaker than ever.”
After the exhilarating debate, the adjudicators stepped outside to make the hardest decision of all time which is deciding which team won. Finally, they came out with a verdict. Ranking 4th was Aya Moataz and Nourhan Ghanima from Pegasus as Closing Opposition, 3rd was Omar Saleh and Yusif Musa from Orion as Opening Opposition, 2nd was Sally Youssef and Jailan El-Rafie from Orion as Closing Government, and finally, in 1st place, was Abdallah Al Alfy and Maie Korayem also from Orion as Opening Government. As for the TIQ cup, this year’s accumulated points were actually pretty close, and with only 6 points difference, House Orion were officially announced as winners of both the Great Debate and the TIQ cup.