Session 2 started at about 1:30 am with the beautiful upbeat music of Terktekat oriental band and it’s 7 members who played wonderful drum music and melodies that fired up the audience and had them dancing the beautiful Chobi Iraqi dance.
The first talk of the second session was a virtual talk by Wareth Kwaish. Lights dimmed as the coffee break ended with session 2 and crowd slowly went silent as Wareth began to speak, not from stage but in recorded video. He spoke of his experience in creating cinema with the simplest tools available, his iPhone camera. Wareth made and directed two films in the past that have won several awards and were presented in Cannes Film Festival. He is currently working on his new movie, Baghdad Disco, which the audience got to see the trailer for. Wareth finally sent a big warm thanks to his parents who were present in the audience reminding us all to appreciate and acknowledge those who have helped us on our way to success.
2:33 pm, Hisham Al-Thahabi takes the Ted stage and starts talking about a very personal and dear story to his heart, the story of his life and success, the story of the children. Hisham talked about how he first met the children on the streets, homeless and powerless, he took them home and held them in. Hisham went on about how those children helped him just as much as he helped them, through a life of struggle and adversity, those children defied all odds and became the incredible people that they are today. “Everyone dreams at night, but not me, I dream during the day. And I have 33 living breathing dreams.” Said Al-Thahabi. His main message was that every child represents an infinite exploding potential of talent and intellect. And that, if invested in the right way and in the right environment, can blossom into something magnificent despite all the challenges. Mr. Yehya Al-Abdali then shared the stage with Hisham and some of his children, and began asking them about what they wanted to be when they were older. “Worldwide actor”, “Engineer”, “Artist”, “Musician” were some of the answers.
For the entertainment part, Hussein Darwish; the talented young mimer who owned the stage as he conveyed a performance acting and moving in a robotic way that to my eyes and to the eyes of the audience vibrated life and energy. He proved that communication is not made through words only. He believes in body language, he is an actor but in a different way, he considered Charlie Chaplin his idol and walked on his path but with developments and adding cultural touches to this art, he renovated it and brought it back to light!
The third speaker of the event was Dr.Marouf Al-chalabi. Challenges the minds of the audience as he steps of the lucid platform of the hard sciences and demands answers to some of the most quizzical questions like what is the smallest mathematical portion you can think of ? What is time ? How to explain the intangible?
The professor starts by exploring the familiar with the mention of the big names in physics like Einstein and Neuton as he explains further about the 4th dimension ( The Dimension of Time ) and the other dimensions we claim to know only too well . As he uses charts , volumes and shapes to demonstrate , he then takes a pause and shocks the audience as he propose the presence of a 5th dimension which he says is a co time dimension to ours . He presents the concept of deja vu and tries to explain it using this new dimension and what’s called a time fold . The professor explains how in these unique moments we step even if it’s for a split of a second to the future at the point that lies at the point where the two time dimensions meet and and a universal mess takes place as these two try to organize this new meeting.
Mustafa Nader, Ahmed ,Noor , Ahmed AlTaib, Hussien And others, who are life makers we call survivors. They were a part of a new segment of TEDx Baghdad called survivors. They did not give up to a disease or a disability. Soldiers in the land of imagination who have fought the psychological nightmare, each of them has a dream of life. Their enemies vary but their path is one, United by tragedy as we see it but it was a motive for success, determination, love for life, and climbing the heights of life.
A second entertainment segment came by Tariq Ziad and Hassaneen Khaza’al that gave a “Stop TEDx Baghdad” satirical performance that generated quite the laughter within the audience and elevated the mood.
At 4:15, Dr. Madiha AlBarman took the stage to share with the audience her biography and her long journey to become the accomplished doctor that she is today. Born in hilla, Dr.Albarman chose medicine as a career despite all the challenges and obstacles in her way. Having graduated as the top of her Highschool class, she moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a medical degree. She managed to specialize in radiology. Dr. AlBarman’s love and attachment to her homeland motivated her to come back to Iraq and build a school for girls from scratch in her hometwon, Babil. The school achieved a great scuccess and has served as a great reminder of the doctor’s passion for education and development. She closed the talk by mentioning the importance of self devotion in the service of others and using logic, science and creativity to achieve the seemingly impossible.
The final segment of the session was a very powerful and emotional performance named Ezaiza. With the play’s director, Bassim Al-Taib, the actors gave an outstanding performance that left most of the audience in tears. Ezaiza is based on interactive, theraputic and psychological theater that tackles social serious issues within our community.