Discovering new dimensions at TEDxSharjah


I love watching TED videos and even wrote about TED talks when they were held in India in 2009.  But seeing a TED event live was a first. True to its tagline a new dimension TEDxSharjah turned out to be a perfect platform to showcase the rising crop of Emirati innovativeness and entrepreneurship. From an Emirati lady pilot who convinced her parents to let her choose flying as a career to a young Sheikh who climbs mountains for charity the event had a list of impressive speakers. Held as an independent TED event on September 29, 2012, at Al Qasba the talks featured several of the region’s upcoming talents.

I was most captivated by a hilarious rendition of the Arabic version of  Old MacDonald by clinical psychologist Dr Raymond Hamdan. He also spoke about growing up as an Arab in America. But the main focus of his talk was on the effects of new media. Some startling figures he quoted were that parents only spend 3.5 minutes per week participating in meaningful conversation with their children, a child sees 8,000 murders on TV by the time he is 18, there are 200 advertisements of fastfood shown in a four hour cartoon programme.

Another thought-provoking talk was by innovator Praveen Vettiyattil. His recent inventions include a pedal powered centrifugal pump and a pedal powered water lifting machine. Director of Renewable Energy at Industrial Engineering and General Contracting (IEGC) in UAE Praveen is passionate about inventions and believes that all of us can be incredible innovators. He runs a Facebook group on inventions and urged young minds to look for new ideas to create and innovate.

Naoko Kishidia, a Japanese married to an Emirati spoke about her attempts to create a bridge between the two cultures. She quoted interesting anecdotes from her early life in the UAE and her efforts to runs the UAE-Japan culture centre.

Here are some other inspiring quotes from the event:

“The only thing that can come between your dreams and you is You” Aysha AlHamili, Emirati pilot

“Feed your creative hunger” Mariam al Sarkal, Emirati director

“Find a cause that drives you, it is a feeling like no other” Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, mountaineer who climbed Mt Elbrus, the highest point in Europe at 5,642 m.

The event also featured performances by Shotokan karate centre and SAMA Quartet. Not to forget the freebees for the audience :0


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: VENICE BIENNIAL | United Arab Emirates seeks applicants for Venice internship for 2013 « in the theater of One World

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