TEDxBaghdad Magnifies Creative Iraqis
The 600-attendee-full hall room of a central Baghdad hotel was the sign that marked the successive annual installment of TEDxBaghdad which was held on Saturday, December 7, during which Iraqi-fueled endeavors were, theoretically, “awarded a doctoral degree”, as described by one of the speakers.
TEDx, stands shortly for Technology, Entertainment and Design, where the ‘x’ stands for an independently self-organized event. It is an event that has been held in thousands of cities all over the world, through which inspiring talks are given about ideas worth spreading and stories of success, and its Baghdad version went online in November 2011.
For the last three years, TEDxBaghdad has been providing a platform through which Iraqi successful ideas are shared and talents are potentiated. As a result this placed TEDxBaghdad as a strong pioneer of entrepreneurship in Iraq.
TEDxBaghdad Foundation, chaired by Yahay Alabdeli, is an establishment that harbors around 200 youth volunteers all over the country who organize events that promote talents and shed a light on successful Iraqi endeavors, and is a part of the international community of TEDx.
This year’s event, themed at “Infinity”, clocked at 7 hours with 20 different speakers and entertainment activities. Speakers with not just eloquent way of speaking, but also practical and market based observations and experiences.
The first proof of TEDxBaghdad strong role in driving change through supporting and spreading applicable economical ideas in Iraq is Mr. Mahmood Hajim. Mr. Hajim was contacted after his talk on TEDxBaghdad 2011 stage by a French company that manufactures planes -both civil and military. Mr. Hajim also gave a talk on this year’s event.
Hajim talked before about his invention, the cleaved wing, an add-on wing for modern airplanes that he invented a couple of years back, and this year he came back for “a bigger suspense” with a different talk style,
“After two years of my dream coming true, I stand here again, today, to shed more light on things that may change your future.” said Hajim, appearing on the stage with a white coat, elaborating his simple day-to-day inventions with ease
.Another success story is Mr. Hasan AlAgele. Mr. AlAgele is one of the young creative social entrepreneurs; the 25-year-old inventor who was driven by his curiosity and talents in science to invent a medical device for neck therapy which was later granted a patent, summarized his experience as if his innovative journey was being “awarded a doctoral degree,” feeling that the true success of his career “relies principally on the audience.”
“The investment magnitude greatly increased because of the event as I went down the stage after the talk and audience rushed to ask me to provide the device for them which gave yet another push to make it available for the people,” added AlAgele.
Merely hours after the event, an Iraqi media channel contacted AlAgele, asking him to appear on a televised talk show to describe his invention, and dozen other local newspapers and TV stations were scheduled to feature the young inventor on their media outlets in the following days.
Those two speakers were among the dozens of others who were given a platform to share successful ideas through events that were held in Iraq and are evidences of the success of TEDxBaghdad; TEDxNajaf is soon to be launched to enhance even more change in Iraq, especially in the business sector.
Dr. Al-Nasir Bellah Al-Nasiry
TEDxBaghdad Blogging Team Coordinator
Former Agence France-Presse (AFP) Journalist