Under the patronage of UNWOMEN, the very first and one-of-a-kind TEDxBaghdadWomen conference was held on Saturday, 1st December 2012.

After days of continuous hard work and under the supervision of Suhad Al-Fartousi, Director TEDxBaghdadWomen, who insisted that the members of the team should be young Iraqi women in order to give them the chance to contribute to the success of this annual project, TEDxBaghdadWomen shed the light on the Iraqi women and the fact that they are capable of working under and adapting to the most difficult circumstances. These women were able, despite the lack of opportunity, to step out into the light with new work that helped them endure the most inconvenient living circumstances. Moreover, they found the opportunity to prove themselves and share their ideas and experiences with other women to motivate and encourage them. Through TEDxWomen, which was organized in over 80 different countries around the world amongst which was Iraq, young Iraqi women worked hard to achieve their goals. Their working together, shoulder to shoulder, made the success of the conference possible.

In the spirit of “She Can Change”, Baghdad embraced this special conference, which was organized with the help of 25 young women who worked voluntarily. The days went by as the preparations were being made and the very first starting point to making the conference successful took place.

The conference started with the Iraqi national anthem played by two talented young ladies who combined the tunes of the lute and the flute with their love for Iraq. The conference included many speakers who had a great chance to share their ideas and reach out with their voices to the audience through visual, written and social media.

There were 13 speakers of different backgrounds, ages and with different ideas who had been trained by an expert team and then introduced beautifully on the TEDxBaghdadWomen stage. The conference also included playing traditional Iraqi musical pieces and a livestream of other TEDxWomen events around the world. To break the barrier with the audience, Yahay AlAbdeli, the chairman of TEDxBaghdadWomen gave the chance to some of the audience to share or propose their ideas in 30 seconds to allow widened participation.

TEDxBaghdadWomen, in co-operation with UNWOMEN, held an exhibition to support some sustainable projects which held a special part during the day.

– The day started with an Iraqi young woman who did not stop working after graduation and started her own project of handmade accessories.

– Also, for a cleaner and more beautiful Baghdad, TEDxBaghdadWomen cooperated with the Center for Hearing Impairment to make stylish car littering bags.

– In addition and out of support for the Iraqi heritage, TEDxBaghdadWomen, in cooperation with The Widows Support Organization, presented a new idea through which Iraqi traditional fashion was turned into obtainable products.

On another front, there was special interaction on the TEDxBaghdadWomen Facebook page where the fans rose to more than 2300. We received many thanks and positive impressions in addition to the happy feelings from those who attended. Also, a lot of congratulations for the big success of the conference were posted on the page. By the end of the conference and in a special guestbook, the audience wrote their feelings that are shown in the image below.

Finally, the conference concluded with love and gratitude to both the audience and the volunteers that made the conference successful and a dream come true.

Tiba Al-Nawab


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