The Doha Debates are the leading forum for public discussion in the Arab world. Chaired by award-winning broadcaster Tim Sebastian and drawing high-level speakers from around the world, the Debates probe the deep divisions in the Middle East and at the heart of Islam.
Students in Qatar play an important role in The Doha Debates as they comprised two-thirds of the audience. More than 40 universities and schools in the country send students to the Debates each month.
The debates centre on a single, controversial motion. Four speakers take part in each debate – two who agree with the motion and two who disagree. Once they have outlined their main arguments in support or opposition of the motion, the discussion is opened up to the audience for questioning and a final electronic vote.
The Debates also have a global audience as they are watched by millions of people through their broadcast on BBC World News and other broadcast partners. DVDs of The Doha Debates are made available to universities around the world and all information of each Debate is available on The Doha Debates English and Arabic websites.
The Doha Debates are funded by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; however, the editorial team has complete independence from any government or official body and has sole responsibility for the content of the sessions and choosing the participants.