TEDxBaghdad’s team who’s been working diligently during the past few months to organize TEDxBaghdad 2012 Main Event that is scheduled to take place approximately less than 48 hours from now had received about 25 extra additions to their TEDxBaghdad family on Friday, October 19th . Twenty three volunteers have decided to join the TEDxBaghdad phenomenal event while a certain number of other individuals have joined TEDBaghdad’s various other teams including: Social Media, Blogging, Translation, Logistics, Registration …etc.

Stress escalates and commotion becomes louder as the teams struggle to meet the deadline which the event had set for its organizers.

At the headquarters of the blogging team which is 2 members short of meeting the required number of team members, sat Al-Nair Bellah Ishrak, head of the blogging team. As he was persistently striving to compensate for the shortage that his team is suffering from, he has been duty-bound to stay the nights at Al-Rasheed hotel during the last couple of days without returning back home to his family.

“I do not think it a necessarily tremendous ordeal that my team is suffering from a lack of sufficient number of members, nor do I think it destructively exhaustive or strenuous for me to relentlessly endeavor recompensing for the shortage we’re sustaining, I’m the head of the team and therefore, I’m obliged to do so” Said Nasir.

He emphasized that quantity is not essential to delivering top notch quality material, and that TEDxBaghdad has more than enough members currently working on the other teams that are more than willing to step in and help out should he ever require additional laboring hands.

Nasir: “I could have about a dozen new members working simultaneously on the team, however, directing a team that’s substantially large is difficult, also, maintaining a team that’s composed of members that are highly talented yet few in number is integral to wielding an ultimately great output”

Upon looking at the work that’s currently being performed at Al-Rasheed hotel, a passerby or a bystander might be confused by the complex nature of the individual team member’s job, mistakenly thinking it not well thought out and somewhat chaotic, however, e affirmed that the work of the individuals involved in the organization, albeit  intricate, had been thought through from the very beginning to the end. Preparing for the unexpected and planning ahead had been TEDxBaghdad’s core team’s strategy to battle whatever obstacle, anticipated or not, that might face them along the way.

It has been almost a week since Hayder Al-Shakeri had arrived from Beirut, he’s member of TEDxBeirut’s team and a current member of TEDxBaghdad’s social media team. He’s been staying at Al-Rasheed hotel ever since he’d arrived, and  with whatever short break he can manage to get, he’s been helping out the other teams with any debacle they’ve been facing. For instance, aside from his job on the Social Media team which is moderating and editing TEDxBaghdad official Facebook and twitter pages while making the necessary liaisons with media resources and other resources that the organization is in need of for covering, sponsoring and promoting the event, Hayder also took on his shoulder, along with the Registration team, reading more than 3250 applications submitted by people that have registered to attend Monday’s grand event.

“I can honestly say that most of the people who applied to be an attendee had genuinely deserved an invitation, unfortunately, since the number of seats is limited, a lot of the people who applied did not receive an invitation”, he added.

During the past few days, he’s also been helping Al-Nasir by trying to find suitable individuals that are talented and dedicated enough to meet the standards which every good blogger is required to meet, and interviewing them online.

Mohammed Nazar who’s working as a coordinator on the Design and Graphics team, has been working with the non profit organization for over two years now, his myriad talents have lead him to become a requisite member of the core team, he has aptly worked on and produced many of TEDxBaghdad’s promotional videos and has graphically designed some of its logos and insignias which have flooded social networking websites in attempt to publicize for TEDxBaghdad’s numerous events.

Like most other core team members, Mohammed Nazar Has been staying at the hotel in order to make the necessary arrangements for the event. He reminisced upon the day when TEDxBaghdad 2012’s theme was created; and what had inspired the idea of making the symbol of TEDx Baghdad bear the letters of the cuneiform language.

“The Beginning Begins is the title of our theme, it had been chosen as our motto this year for the great underlying significance it holds. As we all know, Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization, it had been the place where writing 1st emerged and one of the earliest places where urbanization and domestication became known to mankind. We’ve thought about what would be the uttermost symbolical expression of the glorious beginning of all, and have come to realize that the cuneiform, being one of the earliest forms of written expression, is the ultimate denotation of the beginning”, said Mohammed.

Mohammed Ibrahim Nayyef, a member of the Speaker’s Guide team had arrived at the hotel on Friday , he had brought a long with him a small bag containing some clothing which he had intended to use in case it was required of him to stay the night.

“I had been a volunteer for TEDxBaghdad since last year, I became a member of the Speaker’s Guide team for the 2012 event later on. We’re swamped most of the time and I will be obliged to stay the night if it is required of me to do so”, stated Nayyef.

Abeer Farman, who attended the event that took place during 2011, has decided to volunteer for the 2012 event.

“Last year’s event was simply mind blowing, it had dazzled me unlike any other event that had taken place in Iraq within the last few years; I was so captivated by it that I had decided to volunteer for this year’s event”

The volunteers gathered at the front door outside the hotel, their meeting was conducted and lead by Haider Khadim, who gave them specific instructions regarding each and every team’s job on the day of the event and made them hark attentively to what Ali Al-Makhzomy, a former speaker at TEDxBaghdad’s 2011 event had to say about his experience with the event.

At a corridor in the hotel, there sat Suhad Al-Fartousi, Co-Organizer and Project Director at TEDx Baghdad, along with Zina Alatya discussing the event’s 1st activity which is the musical performance of the Iraqi National Anthem. It was initially planned to be performed on the organ, but since it had not been confirmed yet just then, they began discussing whatever alternative options they have in case their primary selection for the performance doesn’t work out for an inconspicuous reason.

“The piano would be a suitable alternative, since we’ve never had the National Anthem Played using the chords of the piano at any previously organized TEDxBaghdad event, however, given the short period of time we have left before the event, I verily doubt the fact that we might succeed in finding a source which would agree to lend us the piano and let us have it transported to the hotel, since it is an expensive instrument that might be jeopardized during the burrowing process. In case both scenario A and scenario B don’t work out, we must seek the assistance of a violinist for the job; however, having the Anthem played using an unusual instrument is certainly more appealing to an audience”. Remarked Zina.

Regarding the ongoing preparations and rehearsals that are currently taking place at Al-Rasheed hotel, Suhad Al-Fartousi had the following to say:

“It’s crucial for all the people who support TEDxBaghdad’s event to know that there’s more to it than meets the eye, our loyal fans and admirers must understand that the event is not merely the product of the speakers’ creative ideas which have deserved to be spread on TEDxBaghdad’s platform, there are dozens of other people that don’t get to stand on the stage and have the projectors shine a light spot at the place where they’re standing, some of those unknown yet substantial talents that have agreed to stand behind the curtains have contributed to the march of TEDxBaghdad, in the long run, more than any speaker has ever done perhaps. The event that will take place on Monday is the coalescence of the creativity, commitment and toiling of our laborious teams’ members combined with the work of our creative speakers, who both have dedicated their precious time and hard work to serve our noble cause”.

With less than 48 hours to launch, there’s still a lot more to be done, all core team members and volunteers are swamped, performing about a hundred different tasks at the same time. Things like flowers bouquets, gift bags, decoration and food are still en route to the hotel and must all be set up prior to the event. It’s only natural for one to see a team member running from one destination inside the hotel to the next in order to save time, gasping for air while doing so.

Upon seeing the state TEDxBaghdad’s team members are in right now, one might erroneously believe that stress has got the best of them and that they wont be able to meet all of the event/s demands within the short period of time they have left.

Rest assured that by Monday morning, everything will have worked out the way it had been planned. If there’s one team in the world that can pull an outstandingly breathtaking event within such a short period of time, it will be TEDxBaghdad’s team.

Join us Monday morning at Al-Rasheed hotel in Baghdad (as an invited guest) or via livestream to witness the product of months of ingenious, calculative and brilliant planning come to life as TEDxBaghdad’s 2012 conference takes place.

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