On Sunday, the 14th of October, which is 8 days prior to TEDxBaghdad’s major annual event, TEDxBaghdad held one final event that took place on the grounds of The University of Technology in Baghdad.

Unlike the previous events which TEDxBaghdad had orchestrated during the previous 12 months (which had not been quite similar to the annual event), the event entitled “TEDxCity” featured 5 outstanding live speeches given by 5 distinguished individuals of an Iraqi nationality and 4 amusing musical performances including the Iraqi National Anthem and Iraqi folklore music. The live segments which were conducted were also intermittently gapped by promotional videos of TEDxBaghdad’s main annual event which will take place on Monday, the 22nd of October at Al-Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad.

Approximately 120 people filled the seats of the grand theatrical hall located at the Campus of the University of Technology/Baghdad to witness the event which lasted for nearly over 4 hours and foreshadowed TEDxBaghdad’s upcoming main event.

TEDxCity, very much like TEDxBaghdad’s annual event, commenced with a musical performance of the Iraqi National Anthem, this time, performed by the Artist and Academic tutor Ali Hassan (a tutor at the Tonalities Studies Institute) on the lute followed by a customary inauguration speech given by Ali Al-Hassani whose words were accompanied by lovely tunes he produced with a flute.

TEDx City’s first speaker, Zaid Fadhil, boarded the platform later on to officially start the event’s speeches. His less than 15 minutes long speech revolved around establishing the first cinema in Baghdad after decades of decline in the role of cinema as a respective entertainment means that gathers Iraqi family members together:

“The Iraqi society is an educated one which has not lost his high taste and constant quest for a decent life despite all the circumstances.” Said Fadhil.

After Zaid Fadhil had stepped down, it was time for the event’s second speaker to take the stage. Khalid Majeed, who is an engineer, talked about his dream of establishing a city that runs strictly on clean energy resources. He also briefed the audience about the grievous existing contamination in Baghdad which is of a substantially alarming nature.

Architect Ibrahim Jawad was the event’s 3rd speaker. He spoke about ordinary people’s concerns and how to overcome them, emphasizing that the secret of success lies in persistent determination and holding onto hope. His words uplifted the spirits of the audience as they were very much engaged with him while he was giving his speech.

Mahmoud Wahab who is an activist in IT field followed and spoke about his dream of establishing the e-government. He highlighted the fact that his big project starts with a very important 1st step that is eliminating electronic illiteracy and making internet usage practices habitual among all people.

Afterwards, the audience was delighted with Mu’taz Mohsin and Ali Al-Rawi who played the guitar in a dexterous and entrancing manner.

Shortly after, it was time for the event’s final speaker to take the stage. Last but not least, Harith Khaleef talked about the residents of Baghdad’s sentiments towards their city and what the capital does represent to them.

“We have to maintain the historical architectural symbols of Baghdad by reviving them, this should not be limited to architectural maintenance only but we need to re-hold the activities in which they were previously held.” Said Khaleef.

Finally, the event was concluded with a mesmerizing musical performance of the far-famed traditional Iraqi song “Foug il Nakhal” which is considered an indispensible piece of the indigenous Iraqi folklore. The song was performed by Ula Thiya’a Al-Deen using the flute.

Written By:

Asma Falah

TEDxBaghdad Blogger

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