The Infinite Dream Begins: TEDxBaghdad 2013 Session One

The Iraqi National Anthem was the beginning guest, but this year was in a newer, more modern way, as young Ameen Al-Jaff, an Iraqi musician, played the anthem using an electric guitar, reinventing the spirit that the anthem drives in Iraqis’ subconsciousness.

 

Young Ameen Al-Jaff guitaring his way into playing the national anthem.

Young Ameen Al-Jaff guitaring his way into playing the national anthem.

 

Yahay Al-Abdeli, the licensee of TEDxBaghdad, held the stage after Al-Jaff, to talk about the three-year-long march of the annual event, ending with a phrase that left many wondering about the potential of the country, “we -at TEDxBaghdad- recreate the hope in a better Iraq.”

Yahay Al-Abdeli delivering the opening speech.

Yahay Al-Abdeli delivering the opening speech.

 

A short video for TEDGlobal was broadcast, after which the presenter ascended the stage to give the space for Saad Al-Momen, the young entrepreneur who co-founded, Baghdad Life, a website that conveys the true view about the thousands-old capital, Baghdad Life, renovating.

“I always wonder, why does Google broadcast such a dark picture anytime you write Baghdad,” said Al-Momen, referring to the picture search results when typing Baghdad in the search engine, “the problem is in us,” he added, ” we do not convey the true bright image of Baghdad!”.

Baghdad Life, live with Saad Al-Momen.

Baghdad Life, live with Saad Al-Momen.

 

Adil Al-Attar, the Iraqi inventor with dozens of patents in the field of engineering, went up the stage and talked about his latest achievements and discoveries in the United States, raising the name of Iraq up high in the sky of scientific research.

“Life is not a single way that if you were stopped you have to turn back, no, you have just to find another way to find a solution for your problem,” said Al-Attar, advising the youth to not let the obstacles affect their lives in a negative way.

 

Iraqi inventor Adil Al-Attar on the stage of TEDxBaghdad.

Iraqi inventor Adil Al-Attar on the stage of TEDxBaghdad.

 

Sarhang Hars, an Iraqi Kurd expat who holds a master’s degree in telecommunications from UK and a women’s rights activist, later on talked about the equality between genders and how to shed a light on Iraqi prominent women to reshape their image which is hidden from the media.

 

Sarhang talking on women rights in Iraq.

Sarhang talking on women rights in Iraq.

 

The award-winning “Israr” (Determination) movie of the 21-year-old director Omar Yassin was broadcast afterwards, portraying the life of ordinary Iraqi youth who survived terrible events in their lives and succeeded despite the obstacles put in their lives.

Yassin then ascended the stage and talked about his journey with movie making and challenge every trouble that was in his way, “a single hand can not clap,” said Yassin, ” but two can,” emphasizing on the great impact of team work in every aspect.

 

Yassin talking about his movie, Israr, to the audience.

Yassin talking about his movie, Israr, to the audience.

 

Mohammed Qassim, the 18-year-old programmer from Baghdad with prizes, patents and achievements in field of modern telecommunications’ technology, talked about the dream of becoming an inventor despite his young age, and how he exploited his original discovery in providing free mobile services without the need for a service provider, thus helping the Iraqi poor people to provide for their mobile connection free of charge.

Qassim during his talk.

Qassim during his talk.

 

Sinan Kamel, aka the Ambassador of Elegance, an Iraqi international costume designer, talked after that about the Iraqi traditional costumes and how he incorporated them into modern costumes and dresses, with a fashion show that portrayed the traditional-modernized costumes that he came up with.

 

The Ambassador of Elegance fast-pacing through his talk and fashion show.

The Ambassador of Elegance fast-pacing through his talk and fashion show.

 

TEDxBaghdadWomen previous speaker, Suzan Hameed, went on the stage of this year’s event as her talk video was seen by tens of thousands of viewers on Youtube and described her successful dream a year after her speech, ending with a one-word home message, “Badir” (Take the Initiative).

 

Suzan Hameed talking about initiative taking.

Suzan Hameed talking about initiative taking.

 

The 30-seconds-of-fame talks then began, as the audience lined up to talk about their ideas on the stage.

Ideas ranging from elections on telephone, artificial limbs, to rationalize electricity consumption, were discussed quickly on stage.

Akeel Khareef, the Iraqi young artist who uses wastes to make artistic works, by which he became of the leading Iraqi young painters, then he went up the stage and discussed how he managed to change the problem of waste accumulation into the beautiful solution of art, driving the audience to an ultimatum.

 

Khaleef during his talk about the equation of "waste  = art".

Khaleef during his talk about the equation of “waste = art”.

 

Hussein Al-Kahachi, an Iraqi entrepreneur who talked about his dream of unifying the society’s multiple levels and how to better the lives of millions of Iraqi who are living in poor condition.

 

Al-Kahachi talking about ending poverty through low-cost buildings.

Al-Kahachi talking about ending poverty through low-cost buildings.

 

Then an Iraqi duo, Mustafa Saba and Medean, played Arab traditional instruments which portrayed the rich Arab culture, entertaining hundreds, thus ending the 150-minute-long session.

 

 

Sabaa and Medyan entertaining the audience, Iraqi style.

Sabaa and Medyan entertaining the audience, Iraqi style.

 

Al-Nasir Bellah

Blogging Team Leader