The Social Development Committee organized a speech-giving contest “The Little Orator” in the Arabic language between the students of Haifa for a second year in a row in April of 2019. The Arabic language in Israel has a very low status and has been heavily marginalized by the government despite the fact that it is, besides Hebrew, widely spoken throughout the country and it is considered to be an official language.
The contest’s purpose is to celebrate the Arabic language in its poetic and artistic form by having student’s ranging from different ages throughout the schools of Haifa give speeches in an abundance of topics such as the power of words, cyberbullying, preservation of the environment and wild habitats, the effect of advertisements on the public viewer and much more. The contestants were tested on their skill of speech writing (as it had to be in formal Arabic), their utilization of time (they were given four minutes only to present their speech) and last but not least their presence on stage as to whether they can maintain the audience’s attention and get their message to be understood.
The contest had 19 participants form seven different schools. Ages ranged from 5th grade until 10th grade, and the participants were presented in three different levels; elementary, middle, and high school. After the final speech was given the emcee expressed gratitude to the participating schools and their Arabic teachers, as well as the four judges. A beautiful musical performance ensued while the judges chose the winners of the first, second and third place of the three different levels. Afterwards the awards were given to students who gave amazing speeches in a plethora of interesting topics and dozens of pictures were taken, people called it a night, and thus the Arabic language reigned victorious.