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Haigazian: English Speaking Union Leb. March 22

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  • Haigazian: English Speaking Union Leb. March 22

    March 22, 2004
    CONTACT : Loucia Isaac Seropian
    Phone: 961-1-353010 Ext.: 365
    Email: [email protected]

    Haigazian University-Public Relations Office
    PO Box: 11-1748Beirut, Lebanon

    International Public Speaking Competition 2004- Lebanon

    "A Borderless World" interpreted by nine young Lebanese University Students

    The English- Speaking Union Lebanon branch (ESU (held its annual
    International Public Speaking competition Saturday, March 20, at Haigazian
    University-Auditorium, Hamra, Beirut-Lebanon. partaking in the event were
    nine student contestants representing local universities in Lebanon and
    aged between 18-20 in full-education.

    The event was organized by the ESU Chairwoman Mrs. Mrs. Youmna Asseily and
    attended by the Haigazian University president the Rev. Dr. Paul
    Haidostian, the Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Arda Ekmekji and a
    distinguished jury which included, H.E. British Ambassador, Mr. James Watt,
    Dr. Nasser Saidi, former Deputy Central Bank Governor, Dr. Waleed Khoury
    principal of Broumana high school, Mr. Tarek Muhmood HSBC representative
    and Dr. Shereen Khairallah the Chairwoman of the English Department at
    Haigazian University.

    A few minutes before the competition, Mrs. Asseily lined up the contestants
    out side the auditorium premises, in a non-competitive atmosphere
    introducing them to the previous years' participants attending the 2004
    competition in support of the ESU's mission in a "family atmosphere."

    " A Borderless World" was this year's Public -Speaking competition theme.
    With much self-reliance, all contestants successfully managed to tackle
    their topic using different perspectives. Coincidentally, all participants
    were females. With no microphones installed or made available for any of
    the contestants, a rule regulated by the ESU, the majority managed to
    explore the theme and inspire the jury and the audience.

    The sequence of thoughts, flow of information, clear voice projection,
    attitude and presence exercised by the contestants showed their eagerness
    to win the competition making their families and University even more proud.

    Using English as a second Language, the "English skills" and the "English
    standards used by the 9 participants left "positive impressions" on H.E.
    Mr. James Watt. The British Ambassador was delighted to see the Lebanese
    youth "incorporated in extra-curricular- academic activities promoted by
    the English Speaking Union," adding: " I am very appreciative of being
    appointed part of the jury for this specific event."

    Theoretically, according to the speeches addressed by the contestants, a
    borderless world meant, "breaking mental barrier and walls." However, one
    young participant thought, " The whole concept of this borderless world is
    a 'pure myth' and argued accordingly. Another contestant debated and
    discussed the importance of, " building bridges through education, love and
    a mutual respect."

    Very true to the theme, all participants pondered on the concept of
    globalization. Explicitly, all contestants favored a "borderless world",
    which, for them, is in pure conjunction with the experience of
    globalization. Their concern was to urge the audience to experiment and
    decipher the venues of globalization in terms of economy and political
    Inevitably the participants shared mutual concerns regarding "Learning
    corporate languages, involving the youth in major decisions and plans,
    hiring qualified and skilled professionals in all domain mainly translators
    and interpreters especially of supreme importance for the west."

    Virtually some implicitly deliberated, borderless or not, the foundation of
    the world should be based on "cherishing human values, respecting the
    other, accessing knowledge, technology, safe-guarding identities and
    cultures in tune with the rapid developments undertaking the world at large."

    According to Youmna Aseily, the ESU Chairwoman, this activity, which
    involves the youth of Lebanon "is aimed to give young people experience in
    the fundamental skills of public speaking, to give
    International Public Speaking Competition 2004- Lebanon

    Students, from a variety of countries and backgrounds, a chance to meet,
    exchange views and form friendships and to provide a focus for the learning
    of effective English and communication skills among young people in
    countries where English is not the first Language."

    Moreover, " The first annual ESU public -Speaking event was held in 1981
    where only three countries participated. Today, and with much content,
    Asseily assures the number of countries around the world participating in
    this events has exceeded 50 all in all." Concluding she said, "In 2002 a
    young Lebanese student came second in the competition attended by
    participants from over 35 countries, two others from different countries
    tied the knot." she concluded.

    The names of the two winners, Nayla Habr from Notre Dame University (NDU)
    and Lauren Eid from Balamand University was announced by H.E. the British
    Ambassador Mr. Watt. The two-winners will be traveling to participate in
    the headquarters International Public Speaking Competition at Dartmouth
    House in London, May 2004. The rest of the participants were given a
    special gift souvenir by the ESU-Lebanon.

    The International Public Speaking Competition is an annual event program
    run by the English-Speaking Union and Sponsored by HSBC Holdings plc in
    some 42 active countries in the World.

    Loucia Isaac Seropian

    Photo caption: Right Asseily, Khairallah, Habre, Eid, British Ambssador,
    HSBC representative, Khalf, Khoury

    Photo caption: Right Asseily, Khairallah, Habre, Eid, British Ambssador,
    HSBC representative, Khalf, Khoury