Al Munathara is the Initiative’s flagship regional debate program that has been running for more than eight years and 26 episodes. Al Munathara debates are open for all Arabic speakers and have been broadcasted on at least 10 television stations across the Arab region under the hashtag #DD.
Al Munathara is a series of TV debates with a regional focus on major issues affecting Arabic speaking citizens in the MENA region. From its humble beginnings in 2012, Al Munathara has sought to harness the powerful nexus between broadcast television and social media to empower citizens to voice their opinions, constructively engage those they disagree with, and learn from the experiences of fellow MENA citizens in other countries.
Leading up to each live debate, The Munathara Initiative launches Al Munathara Musabaqa in the form of an online competition which will be disseminated on our social media pages and official website. Arabic speakers from across the world are then invited to upload a 99-second video to either support or oppose a given motion.
At the same time, The Munathara Initiative organizes training sessions across 15 different countries both in the Arab world and in Europe in order to support marginalized Arab speaking communities and provide them with the opportunity to be equally heard. Our trainers provide debate skills training to these communities and encourage as well as facilitate the participation of youth and women in the online competition.
The videos gathered from both Munathara’s online campaign and outreach program then pass to a public voting stage, where Arab speakers from across the world vote for the arguments and participants they find most persuasive.
The winners with the most votes move to participate in the Live #DD debates, each teaming up with an established opinion leader with equal speaking time to debate for or against the presented motion.
During the main event, the audience votes before and after the debate. The winning team is then chosen based on their ability to sway more votes to their side, making Al Munathara #DD debates audience-centred.
The debate series deals with core issues facing citizens in all MENA societies, including human rights, regional conflicts, authoritarianism, economic challenges, the refugee crisis, womens’ role in public life, social justice, minority rights, freedom of speech, and the prospect for democracy in the region.
Religion plays a large role in current public school curricula in Arab countries throughout their different stages.
After the high expectations brought by the "Arab Spring", the Arab world is divided: there are those who believe that the region is at the mercy of
#DD16: “Arab countries should use science to determine a single start date of Ramadan."
#DD15: “The Arab world was better off before the revolutions." In light of the current developments in the Arab world, in particular in the revolut