QLC17 – An Interview with Dina Nihad Awartani

Dina Nihad Awartani
Interviewer: Zoya Salahuddin

MUN plays an essential part in the lives of hundreds of students in Qatar, allowing young voices to speak up about issues that constantly plague today’s society. It is a platform for hundreds of opportunities – a platform that is now available for Arabic speakers at the first ever Arabic THIMUN!

Dina Nihad Awartani, who has been part of Arab ambassadors, is an avid debater who ceases every opportunity she gets. From winning numerous debate awards to being a panelist judge at Qatar debates, her enthusiasm is truly evident. This year, she comes back to QLC for the fourth consecutive year as a presenter, this time with a workshop titled: “Arabic MUN Delegate Training”, allowing adults and students a first-hand experience of Arabic MUN; a workshop undoubtedly designed to be led by an inspiring, accomplished Qatar University student.

This is your fourth time returning to QLC as a presenter. In what ways is the Qatar Leadership Conference important to you? 

The Qatar Leadership conference holds a special place in my heart; it’s an event that I plan my year around. I’ve met a lot of inspiring people that impacted me and my work in QLC throughout the years. It is one of the first platforms I was given to present on, and the feedback and encouragement I received was what I needed to improve and become what I am today.

How do you motivate yourself to keep working hard and achieving numerous impressive accomplishments? Does it ever get tiring?  

My motivation is my passion for the work I do; I’m very passionate about MUN in particular, amongst other things. As a result, you’ll notice most of my achievements are MUN related. It rarely gets tiring, because you believe in what you’re doing and the impact it has on people, this drive is all anyone would really need to keep pushing forward and working harder.

What do you want delegates to be able to learn from your workshop this year? 

This year I have teamed up with THIMUN-Q for a series of workshops for an Arabic MUN teachers training. This is open for anyone to come and join of course, but mainly targeted at directors to help show them what Arabic MUN is and let them experience a small simulation of a committee. Once the Director is a part of it and learns the skill, he/she will be better equipped to go on and teach delegates in their respected institutions. If the director in charge does not know what the delegates are doing, their role would only be to sign up delegates’ names and supervise, we hope through this that more directors take an active part in MUN, and especially in Arabic MUN so they would encourage more delegates to be confident enough to take that chance and register in Arabic.

What new opportunities do you think the Arabic MUN can open up for students? 

Arabic MUN is somewhat new territory that is excitingly uncharted. Delegates that are presented with the chance to register in Arabic MUN now are very lucky, however most are afraid of this change and fear of embarrassment gets the best of them most of the time. Arabic MUN holds a lot of potential and is a platform ready for people to shine in, it’s our duty as Arab speakers to make this language one of the most used in MUN.

How can debating bring about changes in a person’s life? Have you had any experiences with such changes brought on by your passion for debate? 

Debating can transform your whole life. From the people around you to the way you think about mundane things to your personality. It’s a truly an unmatched experience. Very rare things in life can affect someone in such a variety of ways, and you will never meet a debater that hasn’t felt that deep-rooted development within themselves as a result of debating. My experiences with debating have changed me immensely from the shy 15-year-old I was when I first began debating. I was not very social, extremely shy, and trembled when presenting to a classroom. I now established the QUMUN club in my university, and will make the first university level MUN conference in Qatar, in both English and Arabic of course. My life would be very different if I backed away from debating, I thank God every day that I did not.

Do you have any advice for aspiring QLC presenters or MUN delegates? 

I have a lot to say to them, I don’t know where to begin. Mainly, take every small opportunity you get, don’t say no, never be shy too raise your placard, fight for what your gut feeling tells you to fight for, and most importantly, have fun doing it.