Dec 5, 2010


I have always been a fan of TEDtalks and I never knew that they had mini international independently organized events all around the world, so when my friend in Canada, who surprisingly knew about this event happening in Dubai before me informed me about it and urged me to register to it, it was like a mini dream come true. Then I waited for the invitation, & waited, & waited and when my friend told me that they already started sending out invitations I kind of lost hope and thought that I got rejected... until the 1st of December at exactly 7:33am when I opened my mail in one of my university labs and there it was a bar code sent to me by the TEDxDubai admins saying that this is my entrance to the event!

Located in hall number 8 at one of the landmarks in the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai World Trade Center, hugely sponsored by the worlds leading corporations, in the spirit of TED's famous ideas worth spreading and under the patronage of his highness sheikh Majed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. How could anyone expect this event to be anything short of successful ?

This years TEDxDubai was a huge success in my opinion, a lot of amazing & well prepared speeches, awesome audience, a fabulous place and the perfect atmosphere. I liked the fact that the organizers tried to their best making this event a green as it can get, encouraging the attendees to get to the venue using the Dubai Metro, not printing any tickets or using disposable bags but rather using electronics bar codes and a wabi sabi bag :)

However, the hall was in complete darkness and the only light available was of high intensity and directly spotted upon the presenters, this made them have a hard time opening their eyes while talking and according to them, all they can see is nothing at all... well it's really obvious that this would happen, imagine driving on a deserted road with only one car coming opposite to you with a high intensity xenon light right at your face! People who prepared the stage probably never drove a car in their life to know how annoying it would be with all this light, but this does not end here... no, even after getting out of the presentation stage hall, the entrance hall that had the buffet was also dark and in all the breaks and while you were having food, the only thing you can see clearly was your hand, anything further than that was blurry and unclear and you had to be familiar with the silhouette of your friends & any of the presenters if you wanted to have a talk with them.

On the other hand, the food & refreshments provided were good for the breaks it was the typical coffee, tea, biscuits, cookies, cakes, bla bla bla. For lunch, there was BBQ meat/chicken lots of salads :D & many appetizers. Finally, I would like to discuss the desserts that were available with the lunch, because I am pretty sure than if anyone present at that time was on a diet, no matter what the amount of will power they have, it would have been ruined in that day. The shear amount of Chocolate based sweets and sugars was just more than anyone can take! by the end of the meal and I was jumping around as I was really hyper.

Now lets have a look at the presentations themselves... I will give a brief description and rate each & every one of them (ordered by rating):

Steve Sosebee [The power of positive action.] 9.5/10
Talks about helping war victims in the middle east!
Probably the most important speech, very moving, great cause, great idea, great speech, great person. I advice everyone to watch & contribute.

Elham Qasimi [Everything but Physical] 9/10
Talks about her trip to the north pole as to inspire young Arab ladies all over the world!
Great job and inspiration to women... looks like a really nice person.
One can only imagine how hard it was to do what she did.
Twitter: @PolarBent

Jason Vale [One Disease – One Solution.] 8.5/10
Talks about how everyone can solve all the health problems they have, with one solution!
Very convincing and made sense, good presentation, & was really funny makes some point you might have known before but never put it in that perspective.

Twitter: @juicemaster

Yassin AlSalman [Who We Are, When We Were : Identity In Flux] 8.5/10
Talks and raps about expatriates and global politics and "democracy"!
Cool rapping, good story, something we people here in UAE can relate to...
plus he can be the next big thing in rap so you never know.
Twitter: @TheNarcicyst

James Piecowe [Freezing Ideas and other lessons from the Desert] 8.5/10
Talks about freezing ideas and how to make people get your ideas better!
Vibrates with energy and positivity, some good points.
I wish every professor is as energetic & dedicated as he was, if every lecture is given in this way, then well, the quality of education is going to increase.
Twitter: @jamesEd_me

Patricia Ryan [Mind your language.] 8/10
Talks about how language is a barrier and prevents many people with potential from education!
brave, honest, funny, makes some strong point you have to look at. I am sure her grand children love her.

Twitter: @ryanabu

Chendil Kumar [Unleash your Humor Quotient !] 8/10
Talks about how humor is important even in business and how to use it!
was funny, grabbed people's attention even though he was the last to present and well you can learn a thing or two from him. Very good job considering him as a former engineer ;)

Twitter: @chendilk

Monja Wolf [Transition into social development.] 9/10 ;)... actually 8/10 :)
Talks about how she went from being a thrifty model to a person who helps the needy!
What was she talking about again :S ?
Males were just staring at her because she is hot, females were just being envious(she is a former model) and no one ended up listening to her much. JUST KIDDING... No, SERIOUSLY, good topic, good cause, interesting life, but I got to admit, accent a little hard on the ears :(.


Matt Hoyle [Perfect Imperfection] 8/10
Talks about how people are perfect, specially with their little imperfections!
Everyone interested in photography look at his presentation... great work, good ideas, and well, we spoke to him after his presentation and he was really nice.


Gonan Premfors [Relationships Rebooted] 7.5/10
Talks about how you can reboot your relationship, parenting wise specifically!
Too emotional! But since I have no kids I cant relate to it, & I have nothing to take out of it... Parents however are advised to have a look.

Twitter: @GonanPremfors

Sheena Matheikan [The Uniform Project] 7.5/10
Talks about her creative project that raised money to educate children in India!
Interesting project, some cool designs and outfits.

Twitter: @UniformProject

Mohammed Abedin [New Beginnings.] 7/10
Talks about all the challenges in life and how he still managed to get through them!
Ummmm, well was a little funny, but tried too hard, good work with illustrator kudos for not using the traditional boring power point. Watch his part only if you are have nothing else to do, I dunno if it was him being boring or if they gave him time more than the others!
Twitter: @moabedin

Nicholas Sykes [Biomimicry 2.0] 7/10
Talks about how engineers and many others, take ideas from nature to apply it to our use.
Very interesting & rich topic!... poor presentational abilities, but saved by his charm, and the reason I say this is because, all the European ladies went all AWWWWW whenever he forgot something. -__-

Twitter: @NicholasSykes

Sue Gardner [The People’s Encyclopedia] 6/10
Gloats about wikipedia... thats about it.
Could have done waaaaay better + I don't really know if she chose the wrong stories to share here on purpose or if she did not mean it ?
Because you don't come here and talk about how Wikipedia helped out & inspired conservative Israelis & Gay rights :S I mean, seriously you chose to speak about these stories in UAE why ?
Not a smart move by the "
Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation" -___-

Tala Badri [Happiness in F Major.] 4/10
Was it music that she was talking about ?
same as Meshal Al Gergawy (see below), she was so boring and pointless I just went to pee even though I didn't feel like it.

Twitter: @talabadri

Mishaal Al Gergawy [The republic of I and the federation that is us.] 2/10
I was completely lost to understand what he wanted to say.
From the title itself you can know what I want to say......... BOOOOOOORRRRIINNNNGGGG & COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. Someone else take this topic & make it more interesting please!

Twitter: @algergawi

Make sure you watch the recommended videos on you tube at the TEDxTalks channel when they are uploaded!

Ahmed Yosry
Twitter: @AhmedYosry


  1. I suggest you link to the homepages of the speakers, or the videos where we can watch the nice ones ! thanks

  2. Sure thing. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Links to the actual speeches will be uploaded as soon as they are up on youtube.