The spoken word is a powerful weapon. Throughout human history the power of the spoken word has changed the very way we live and experience life; from bringing about revolutions to changing fates of nations. Debates teach individuals how to hone this weapon, and turn the act of speaking into an art. Powered and motivated with a message, what we say in a debate not only helps us express our opinions effectively but also has a lasting impact on those around us. The Westminster Debating Society creates master debaters that aren’t only skillful orators but responsible individuals that use their most useful asset, their speech, to make the world a better place.
Amnah Khan recently graduated from an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics. A Westminster alumna, she graduated in 2016 after having been an active member of the Westminster Debating Society.
Her time in the debating circuit was marked by significant success. She won several national-level tournaments, including the Raziuddin Shaikh All Pakistan Championship in 2016. She went on to represent Pakistan at the World School Debating Championship, where she was ranked among the top-ten speakers at the tournament.
In previous years, Amnah has coached teams that went on to break and win at tournaments in Pakistan. Today, she is working as a project manager at an international company and coaching at Westminster.
Abdullah Khan is a graduate student who finished his Master’s in Financial Economics in 2020. He split the last two years of his degree between the University of Sydney and the University of Freiburg. His love for debates started from an age as young as 11, when he was a small child in an oversized suit attending every Model United Nations conference he could access. The eighteen years that followed his first MUN resulted in him falling in love with public speaking at large. He spent five years speaking on the school parliamentary debate circuit, followed by another four years of speaking the University circuit in Pakistan. He then went on to speak in various European tournaments before moving on to speak the Australian parliamentary debate tournaments. In this time, he also spent nine years coaching Westminster College – his team went on to win the national championship three times and many of his students were selected to represent Pakistan team at the World Schools Debating Championship. He has also worked at Masters Academy in Sydney as a debate instructor, teaching multiple schools simultaneously. While parliamentary debates are his first love, he does have significant experience with Model United Nations, having either chaired or (mostly) won in around 50 Model United Nations conferences. All this time honing his debate skills by constantly seeking new challenges and challengers across the globe allowed him to see the many sights and wonders of the world. He has, as a result, attended conferences in Pakistan, India, Australia, Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, Thailand, Greece, France, Netherlands and Greece. Currently, he is working as a financial controller for WPP. In his spare time, Abdullah works as a volunteer at MY Climate Observatory, which aims to provide free sustainable financial data to people (hint: It has to do with helping people make more pro-green investment decisions). While he spends most of his weekdays crunching data and trying to make sense of huge spreadsheets, during the weekends he is usually at a debate tournaments complaining about “how much time he spends there”. Debates and work constitute a large part of his life, but there is more to him than that! Apart from the two, he is a huge NBA fan and spends a lot more time that he will ever admit watching highlights of the Lakers. While he loves watching the NBA, he does branch out every now and then to play cricket (like every other child raised in the sub-continent) and spent much of his childhood apologizing for breaking his neighbours’ windows. All in all, debates are oxygen for him and are what he is most passionate about.