Nov 18, 2012

TEDxBeirut The Full Day Event

Up til this day I often get people wondering what is TED talks. Personally TEDxBeirut is your dose of enthusiasm, self motivation, faith in humanity, and worldly peace altogether. Well, that would be my definition as I stated. Here's what the TEDxBeirut organizers had to say on their Facebook Page:
"TEDxBeirut is a gathering of wonderful minds, designed to inspire, nurture and propagate great ideas in compliance with TED’s mission of  “changing attitude, lives, and ultimately the world”. We are accountants, students, doctors, lawyers, media people, housewives and your neighbor next door. We have one thing in common – a desire to push the boundaries, make a difference and maybe even leave a legacy."
Read more on their page

And it was, definitely a gathering of wonderful minds, wanting to share with the world their success stories, their aspirations and dreams, their life-changing moments.

The Interviews

Collage of some speakers at their interviews. Courtesy of Nath Halawani
Being a volunteer assigned to videography work was my shortcut to reach out to the other face of TEDxBeirut, the one you don't get to see. I got to chase speakers around, to look for audience members for interviews. I got to listen to everyone's thoughts on the day, both the positive and the hesitating. I got to see the anxiety in speakers' eyes right before their time on the stage, the relaxation and comfort the moment it's all over with.
Loryne Atoui at her interview. Courtesy of Nath Halawani
Both Ameena and Talar were glamorous enough to help me around and support me in asking the interviewees a few questions and simply elaborating on what they needed to say in front of the lens. I must admit I kind of exceeded my own expectation on my performance as a videographer, that is undoubtedly my first time doing interviews and I think I nailed it :D. Fingers crossed I could finish the video soon enough.
Zeina Saab and Sareen Akarjalian being interviewed. Courtesy of Nath Halawani

My Take On The Speakers

Too bad I had to miss most of the talks since my work involved being out of the auditorium most of the time. Among the talks I watched, even though for a few minutes, I loved what Dr. Achi had to say, his presentation, his charisma and his elegance. I also passionately listened to Israa's story and her suffering with narrow-minded people and discrimination just because she wore a veil. I related so much to what Suzanne had to point out, especially when she asked the audience, who were mostly my generation, to "either use fully Arabic words or english words while texting and tweeting, but please, PLEASE, don't mix both up, I would hate to see "ma32oul" in your tweets, this is not a language".

Don't Kill your Language. Courtesy of Stephanie Geryes
I'm more than sure everyone else was astonishing as well, sounds of over a 1200 persons clapping was heard throughout the external lobby and corridors. Salim Zwein, whose talk as I figured out later on was discussing one of the most vital topics for me as an engineer, energy, gathered a great amount of enthusiasts wanting to learn and share thoughts during the breaks.
Zeina Saab on stage. Courtesy of Sam Wahab
Speaker Esraa Haidar during her Talk. Courtesy of Nath Halawani

All We Need Is...

As a person with a camera having access to virtually every person out there, I wanted, based on an advice from Tinia Nassif, to record a few shots of people holding their badges and saying out loud their motto "All we need is..." . This turned out to be one hell of an occasion!
All we need is ... Courtesy of Nath Halawani
One of the few mottos that caught my attention was the one saying "All we need is Already Within Us". I'm sorry I don't recall whose motto this was, but he/she deserves a shout-out. On the other hand, All we need is Love, if this hadn't been overused that day. Too many other also believed that all we needed was Imagination. One of the guys I interviewed thought that he needed Heroism, I wonder how he relates to being a heroic person. That along with so many other mottos worth looking at.
All we need is Imagination. Courtesy of Rainier Roumieh

The Reviews

Here's what some of the audience had to say about the event right after the day was over:
Nina Sharabati that was one awesome event, kudos on a job very well done, it was as inspiring as always!! ♥
Nisrine Tabet The TEDx event was great today, I just have a small comment to add, will it be possible for the next TEDx event to have bottles of water available (since 70% of our body is composed by H2O :) ! )
Jessica Ghaleb TEDx Beirut 2012 exceeded my expectations!!.. I was really inspired by the speakers...Waiting for TedxBeirut 2013!!!
Maysoun Saadi@TEDxBeirut All of you made this one amazing event, in such an interesting and inspiring way. The whole day was a joy to me. Thank you!
Elham Kharpoutli@TEDxBeirut big thanks to the entire team for such an amazing event :)great sharings from great speakers and what an audience!!cu next year
On the other hand, Here's the thoughts of some of the team members right after the closing:

Rytta Ihdayhid
‎TEDxBeirut another successful event organized by an amazing team of volunteers with wonderful energy. We finally made it, and I can't believe the event is over! [..]
BIGGEST Thank you to our imaginative leader Patricia Zougheib. We love you ❤
Rim Baltaji
Too much Adrenaline going on! TEDxBeirut was not just a successful event on November 17th 2012. TEDxBeirut was an 11 months journey of Ups and Downs, a combination of devoted volunteers, weekly meetings, [..] So thank you team members, speakers, volunteers, and all contributors, for all these memorable moments. I have learned so much from you and can only be proud of having been part of this great journey :)
It's all about Patricia

In the end, I can only congratulate everyone who contributed in the making of that day, you really managed to get me have another thought onto some of my . A small note on the side, remember that MAA thingy with Mr. Chaer? Let's try to learn the lesson this time. Till next time :)
Courtesy of Zena Al Masri

Update: Have a look at Lebanon E-Guide's page for more wonderful photos of the event. I assure you they're spectacular


  1. Lovely article!

    "All you need is love" may have been 'overused', if not 'typical', however it was my instinct, and my musical calling inspired by the Beatles! After love comes inspiration, passion, peace, hope, creativity, unity, etc!

    "There's nothing you can do that can't be done. There's nothing you can make that can't be made. No one you can save that can't be saved. Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time... There's nothing you can know that isn't known. Nothing you can see that isn't shown. Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be."
    - The Beatles, All You Need is Love

    Mine at least carried that greater message :)

    TEDxBeirut 2012 was truly inspiring! Very well-organized and fulfilling. Can't wait for TEDx 2013!

  2. Dear, the photo "it's all about Patricia" is not mine =)

    1. Thank you for highlighting this mistake. I'll try to look for the original owner. Thanks again ^^

  3. The staff was awesome and was on top of everything. I was blown away with the food and how fantastic the wedding was, truly an unforgettable experience.