Young Arabs Said ‘Assad Must Go’

Upon being invited by BBC, Aysegul Ekinci attended the Doha Debates in Qatar. Doha Debates test the waters of the Arab world. Here is how the participants responded to the question ‘Should Assad Go?’…

While the members of the Arab League gave until Sunday to Syria, the Doha Debates discussion panel, known as the free voice of the Arab World, asked the question of ‘Should Assad Go’ to the Arabs, through an event held in Doha, Qatar.

Since it started in 2004, Doha Debates continues its broadcasts courageously on the most conflicting topics without censor, despite the threats it receives.

The Doha Debates panel that focused on the matter of Syria and Bashar Al Assad’s Government was held at the Qatar Foundation’s facilities in Doha, with the participation of hundreds of people. BBC’s award winning reporter and former producer-host of Hard Talk, Tim Sebastian prepared and hosted the panel. Turkey’s ultimatum to Syria was among the topics that were discussed.

Young Arabs do not want to give another chance to Assad

Syrian politicians, Obeida Nahas, Ammar Waqqaf, Emile Hokayem and Kamel Wazne were the speakers of the panel. Obeida Nahas held the Assad Goverment for the death of hundreds of civilians and said: “It’s about time for the Assad Goverment to resign. Syria will march stronger on the democracy path without Assad” and condemned the civilian massacre in the country.

The audience asked: ‘Why is Assad killing his own people?’

A woman from the audience spoke out: ‘Why is Assad killing his own people? We don’t want a government like this. We want to live in peace, without fear.” The audience indicated that they did not see any hope for change during the 11 year presidency of Bashar Al Assad and decided for ‘Assad must go’ at the end of the 90 minute debate. The topic of the debate was approved with the highest vote rate in the history of Doha Debates with 91 percent of the audience stating that they did not want Assad via their votes.

What is Doha Debates?

Doha Debates was founded in 2003 by the well-known British journalist Tim Sebastian, and it is founded by the Qatar Foundation. BBC’s skillful name Tim Sebastian has signed off on endless exclusive news throughout his career, while reporting from the hottest zones of the Middle East. He is also the moderator of the debates.

Despite being founded by the Qatar Foundation, Doha Debates panels provide uncensored free grounds for the conflicting opinions and arguments of the Arab region and they have gained more popularity over the past years. The management selects controversial topics while carefully choosing the speakers and the audience. Doha Debates are televised eight times a year by BBC World News.

Aysegul Ekinci/DOHA

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