Husain, a Santri from Gasek, Wins International Debating Medal

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The skills and mentality of santri cannot be underestimated. With each passing day, they continue to achieve various accomplishments. Their achievements are not only recognized at the regional and national levels, but they are also making their mark on the international stage.

Muhammad Husain Rifa’i, a santri from Pondok Pesantren Sabilurrosyad Gasek, Malang City, East Java, recently achieved success on the international stage. Remarkably, Husain, who is also a student at UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang, made his nation proud at the 2nd Asian Arabic Debating Championship (AADC) Qatar Debate 2023. The event took place in Muscat, Oman, from January 26, 2023, to February 3, 2023. He did not participate alone but was accompanied by three other students from the Arabic Language and Literature Program at the Faculty of Humanities, UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang.

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This prestigious biennial event attracted hundreds of participants from various countries. According to Husain, this achievement did not come easily. It involved a struggle that is hard to describe in words. On the other hand, Husain explained that Indonesians possess extraordinary potential and gifted talents, especially in language proficiency, including Arabic, English, and others.

“In my observation, countries like Korea and Vietnam struggle in international debates, mainly due to their difficulty in using foreign languages. We Indonesians, however, are able to master various languages, particularly Arabic, which I have honed for debating,” he explained during a phone interview on Sunday (18/06/2023).

A futsal enthusiast, Husain continually motivates his younger peers and friends by pointing out that foreign thought patterns are not that different from those in Indonesia. He emphasizes the importance of students becoming involved and truly committed to their pursuits, a principle he personally experienced after participating in Arabic debates and interacting with foreign debaters.

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