“The Young Orator” is a new project launched by the Social Development Committee in cooperation with the Stella Maris Rotary Club. Students from fifth to tenth grade will compete in a public speaking competition in modern standard Arabic. The reason behind using modern standard Arabic instead of the more familiar local Arabic slang- that varies according to region- is to lessen students’ fear of the Arabic language. Arab students despise Arabic classes and fear their mother tongue, and with the advancement of technology and social media, Arabic has become heavy on those who speak it- youth.
Arabic language coordinators from all of Haifa’s Arab schools met on February 5 2018 where the SDC and Rotary Club first pitched the idea to them. Two weeks later, on February 19, the coordinators met again, this time with public speech specialist, Dr. Saleh Abboud.
Dr. Abboud discussed the art of public speaking in order to guide the coordinators in choosing the best orator among their students. Dr. Abboud started by defining oration, saying it is a way to meet face to face with the public to convince them of a certain idea through persuasion and charm. Dr. Abboud presented the historic importance of oration in Arab civilization and broke down its components, and he presented the standards set for a good orator in terms of personality and body language.
The project will be held over the next four months and end in May 2018, where professional judges will evaluate the final contestants who won the internal competitions in their own school.