Q&A With Doha Debates Correspondent Nelufar Hedayatby Daniel King
Q: Nelufar, you have an exciting and award-winning career as an investigative journalist exposing injustices globally through on-the-ground interviews. How can Doha Debates help you and the world find solutions to urgent problems?
A: Over my 10-year career as a documentary maker, I’ve realized it’s not enough anymore just to know what’s happening in the news. We have to actively shape the changes we want to see, and Doha Debates is born out of that need, an inclusive platform for global solutions. I’m a news junkie. I listen to and watch and read everything I can to know what’s going on in the world, but we need Doha Debates as an antidote to all the talking heads, pundits and news packages that simply say what’s happening, often out of context and without follow-up or explainers. As a refugee from Afghanistan who’s made London home, I’m familiar with what it’s like to have your story written by other hands. That’s why Doha Debates speaks to me.
We’re all intimately linked around the world, yet the various ideological and political tectonic plates we stand on are under pressure. In this fragmented world, we need to come together for solutions.
“As a refugee from Afghanistan who’s made London home, I’m familiar with what it’s like to have your story written by other hands. That’s why Doha Debates speaks to me.”
Q: What excites you most about this opportunity as Doha Debates’ correspondent?
A: I’m itching to get out there and find out what global citizens think about issues affecting them. Who should pay the price for climate change and who will? Is the gender rights debate a privileged one? Should hedge funds be allowed to own the world’s freshwater? These are the questions affecting us all, and I’m tired of hearing the same voices discuss them ad nauseam. Doha Debates is a space where ingenuity is fostered, diversity mandated and debate encouraged. I can get behind that.
Q: What makes Doha Debates stand out for you from debate initiatives in recent history?
A: Resolution is the winner, and shared solutions matter most. Not one particular viewpoint or thought process or political persuasion. This isn’t debate for the sake of a sound bite. I want to be part of the next generation of answers to the problems we all face. Other debate shows I watch and have taken part in are theater rather than solutions-driven. That’s a huge difference. Doha Debates brings people together for outcomes rather than just clicks or chatter. It’s about adding real color and depth and cultivating a new generation of unheard voices — creating a space for this to happen. Doha Debates’ ambition is epic. We’re setting the stage to do it right.