For those who are not aware, TEDx events are independently-organized versions of the popular TED Talks that have drawn millions of people around the world, and millions of views online, sharing the thoughts and ideas of people ranging from comedians to entrepreneurs and big companies leaders.
TED Talks are nothing new to Egypt. They were held at different places including universities such as the AUC, GUC, and Ain Shams. And now the time has come for MIU to host one on its own. A group of the university’s volunteers learned a few months back that they were awarded a license to host a TEDx event there.
In the weeks since, they’ve been busy planning the logistics of hosting a TED Talk, focusing on getting speakers and performers to the event so their stories and music can be heard.
With a theme of ‘Supernova’, speakers talked about topics including equality, crippling calamities, social justice, advertising, and curiosity. They shared their own personal stories that challenge the status quo, and dare to do things differently.
Ahmed Ihab, a dentistry student, CEO of TEDx MIU, and the one who formulated the idea to host the event at his university shared his thoughts and plans on the event. “This is an opportunity to explore the ideas our community has in a space where everyone would be willing to listen and receive,” Ahmed explained. “Ideas work best when they’re bumped up against each other when they’re challenged. We could have many more beautiful ideas by just sharing them in a confined space where they’re forced to co-mingle.”
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less. Independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. “A few of us really liked the idea of having a TEDxMIU because it felt we were at a point where this place has some really great energy to share with the world,” Ahmed stated. “It’s all about ideas worth spreading, essentially,” Wiles said, adding that the event brings together a diverse group of people of different backgrounds.”
With nearly 150 applications and counting, they’ve chosen 11 people who represent the positive, innovative and slightly rogue spirit of their minds.
The list of speakers included:
– Ramy El Agamy, who spoke about the essence of writing in healing and how it can overcome psychological issues while mentioning renowned authors in the field.
– Mai Emad, a Fine and Applied Arts graduate, who managed to establish galleries for the visually impaired to “help people find their solace through art.”
– Mazen Mohsen. From where does someone start talking about this prodigy? At the age of 16, he was able to achieve what most 30-year-olds could have never been able to do. An author, translator, engineer, instructor, magazine writer, fighter… One can only feel mesmerized at the heights he had reached and what’s waiting in the way ahead.
– Yasmine Ghaith. Some of you might recognize from her works on TV such as being in last Ramadan’s hit show Halawet El Donia, some others might know that she is a breast cancer survivor. As an ambassador for Baheya, she went on several awareness campaigns. Her raw speech reflected her true personality and how much of a fighter she is.
– Esraa Ahmed, a senior high school student, who recently posted a viral video on Facebook to stand up for anyone who utters annoying comments because of the way she looks. She doesn’t consider what she has a deformity, nor it is a flawed disfigurement, in her own words “it’s a relative change in looks”.
– Mahmoud Tarek, an architecture student at MIU. Mahmoud stutters a lot when he speaks, which is something that makes him undergo lots of mishaps and challenges. Nevertheless, he aspires to change people’s lives and cares so much about their welfare and well-being. What a gracious mission.
– Nahla Fahem. A school teacher and a mother who recently lost her own two daughters in events of the bombing of Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral in December. In a heartfelt speech which made almost everyone in the hall tear up, she demonstrated how she felt this little glimmer of hope after her daughter’s death, and how she sees life from another perspective. Our condolences for Mrs. Nahla, may they always be remembered in goodwill.
– Sherif Galal, a music producer, a sound engineer, and a music instructor. You know Drake’s famous line “Started from the bottom now we’re here”? Yup, this pretty much sums up Sherif’s career. He went through some endearing hiccups, but eventually reached successes by becoming one of the most famous producers in the country before the age of 30.
– Fariza El Meniawi. The loss of a child can be demotivating to every mother out there, but that’s not the case with Mrs. Fariza. She enrolled in interior design courses until she established her career and opened her own gallery. After a gut-wrenching but heart-warming speech, she put inspirational hope in the souls of the attendees.
Everyone was also delighted to hear audacious music from the band Sharq West, and a sheer performance from the aspiring singer Nagham El-Deeb.
It was a great, long, hectic, wonderful day for everyone who volunteered to make this event happen after a few months of preparation. Kudos to everyone who worked on this event, you absolutely made it worth it.
**All pictures in this article are taken from TEDxMIU’s Facebook page.