I have a dream

‘TEDxBaghdad started about a dream. My dream. Now, it’s absolutely not about me anymore. It’s about people around me.’ – Yahay AlAbdeli, the initiator of TEDxBaghdad.

The theme of TEDxBaghdad is: Make The Impossible Possible. That’s what Yahay AlAbdeli wants to show the world. ‘We can organize a TED conference in Iraq. There’s talent. It’s safe enough.’

What does Yahay AlAbdeli want to accomplish with TEDxBaghdad?
‘After so many years of wars and living in a dictatorial regime, facing challenges every day, I want to show the world that we have enough talent and energy to build a new future.’

Yahays goal is to find unknown Iraqi talents that did small things with big impact to speak on TEDxBaghdad. ‘I’m looking for people who plant flowers in their street to bring happiness. I would like to give those people a very good promotion on stage. They promote the new Iraq. They can tell people: “I’m just a person, I did something beautiful, you can do it too.”’

1. Promote Iraqi talent
From the beginning Yahay AlAbdeli’s main target group is the Iraqi talent. He wants to give them a stage to tell the world: ‘We exist. We have talent. We can rebuild the country.’
2. Connect Iraqi talents outside Iraqi with Iraqi talents inside Iraq
During the process of organizing TEDxBaghdad Yahay met Iraqi people who live outside Iraq. They don’t know how to reconnect to their home country. Because of the war, Iraqi people live in many different countries.
3. Rebuilding the image of Baghdad
This is a smaller target. The TEDxBaghdad event will give the city good promotion. In 2013 Baghdad will be the capital of Arab Culture, but already this can be shown in 2011 with TEDxBaghdad.

Green light
Now we have the full support from the Iraqi Prime Minister. The government is more than happy to help realizing TEDxBaghdad.

People will wonder about safety. Yahay tells me: ‘Baghdad has problems like any other city in the world. Safety is a topic in many countries, including well developed European countries or third world countries.’

Irene de Waal

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