Only a couple of weeks before the big event; emails started piling up, Facebook messages started rolling like crazy because everyone wanted to know whether they got accepted to attend TEDxBaghdad 2012 or not. Our lovely registration team did its best to choose as fairly as possible only 700 people out of the almost 3500 people who applied to attend TEDxBaghdad 2012. I was in Beirut at that time and I was working all via Skype in order to contribute my best to this event.
One week before the event, I couldn’t take it anymore; I went to the airport and booked the first ticket that was heading to Baghdad in order to help in organizing this amazing conference. And upon my arrival to the hotel we started working right away because we had limited time and nothing to waste. All teams were busy with the preparations, we can’t say that one team did less of a job than others because everyone contributed to something essential to TEDxBaghdad.
This team was working literally 24/7 in order to insure that the speakers got all the training they need to get on stage and speak in front of 800 people. I joined a couple of speakers’ sessions just to get the feel of it and they were doing an awesome job of editing scripts and motivating speakers and encouraging them. Dr. Anas, Yara, Ayat and Mohammed Nayyef were always listening carefully to the words of the speakers while paying attention to their body language in order to give them the best advice they can use.
One of the hardest working teams; they were running around all day trying to figure out how to organize the big hallways and the conference room. Abdulghani was running in and out of the hotel in order to bring whatever needed to make the conference a success.
A very easy looking job from the outside, but behind the scenes you will perceive a different story. The registration team was carefully reviewing applications in order to choose who will come to TEDxBaghdad 2012 and who wouldn’t. I used to see Mohammed Kamal (Head of the Registration Team) on his laptop for 5 hours in a row, moving only for that occasional cup of coffee that he used to have in order to wake up. Then on the day of the event we saw the registration team members assigned to their positions in order to welcome 1000 people, give them their badges and provide them with instructions about what should be done.
Social Media Team
They were anxiously updating all social media platforms for TEDxBaghdad in order to create the enough online buzz to attract everyone’s attention. From uploading pictures of the preparation stages to getting the live streaming website up and running. Dr. Elaf, Nate and myself were trying our best to keep you updated all the time.
You know why you can’t see Yousif, Marwan or Ibrahim in any of the pictures? That’s because they were the ones behind the camera taking the pictures. The photography and production team dedicated their time to keep the memories of TEDxBaghdad alive and every time I look at a picture of myself in one of TEDxBaghdad albums I imagine Ibo standing in front of me silently taking his pictures.
As I was roaming around the hotel, trying to find the perfect spot where the WiFi is strong, I entered a room that had a bloggers team meeting. Al-Nassir was there with Asma and Farah Abdulmajeed on Skype talking about the blogging team’s strategy for the day of the event. Following that I couldn’t help myself but reading the lovely blog posts that are published on a weekly basis.
And of course we can’t forget the hard work of Andra, Farah, Hamada, Layla and Zina of the TEDxBaghdad international team who were all with us almost all the time either on Viber, Skype or just chatting on gmail with one of the team members. Also supervising the big picture we had Yahay, Suhad and Haider who were up and busy all the time with all the teams.