AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: April 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

#TEDxDeadSea: After the first TEDx event in Jordan

I’m sitting in one of the last sessions of the first TEDx event in Jordan, and I just asked the people around me if they consider it a success. The answer, from different people, is an overwhelming yes.

I agree.

Given the large amount of speakers, and the unfortunate fact that Jordan isn’t exactly a hub of great speakers, I wasn’t expecting a full 12 hours of food for thought.

I am happy to say though, at the end of the day, that aside from a few speakers I can count on one hand, the event was overwhelmingly impressive. The presentations were interesting and very un-cliche, the speakers were well-prepared and comfortable, and the organization was very smooth.

Kudos to the organizers for pulling it off with flying colors.

Jordan’s first TED will be an act hard to follow.

#TEDxDeadsea: More pictures

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#TEDxDeadSea: Jordanian Women Are Cool

My favorite thing about this TEDx is the fact that most of the great speakers have been women.

Rula Al-Assi, Sandra Hiari, Rawan Ababneh, Khalida Qattash, Muna Awad, Mahs Darwish, Rana Dajani.

How great for Jordan.

#TEDxDeadSea: Khalida Qattash

My favorite speaker today (aside from my mom, duh) has been Khalida Qattash, media teacher at CMS.

She started with the event as a volunteer along with her students, but ended up a speaker after her children and students pushed her.

She reminded me of all the great teachers I was lucky to have, teachers who taught me things and modes of thinking that I couldn’t have learned by myself.

This is post is a thanks to all great teachers in the world, especially Miss Khalda Qattash, who I did not know before today, but who really lifted my heart.

Thank you.

#TEDxDeadSea: Young Jordanians Speak

When I heard that the first TEDx event to happen in Jordan was happening in the Dead Sea, I have to say I was quiet annoyed. It wasn’t fair for Amman, I thought, the hub of the country. The Dead Sea, aside from the little towns, farms, and villages around Al-Ghor, is basically a place of super-expensive hotels and not much culture.

But I changed my mind and was suddenly glad that the event is taking place in such neutral territory.

The second session of TEDxDeadSea brought together several young Jordanians; all students, and all with an inspiring story that Amman does not have a hand in.

Omar Al-Hijazi, a student of engineering in Ma’an, who shared stories with us of the people of Amman.

Hamza Abid, a boy from the Baqaa Refugee Camp who told us about his dream.

Esraa Alasasfeh, a medical student who has a a few inventions under her sleeve at 19.

Abedl Rahman Al-Zorgan, a guy from Tafileh who does really cool things with technology.

These young people from around Jordan proved that TEDxDeadSea is truly a celebration of Jordan as whole, as opposed to an exclusive, Ammani event.

Pictures of #TEDxDeadSea

More pictures :)

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#TEDxDeadsea first session

The women empowerment start of TEDxDeadSea has been quite excellent so far.

The show kicked off with Rula Al-Assi, a human development consultant specializedin motivational speaking. She spoke about accepting others, using all the different characteristics of people without judging others.

The next speaker was Sandra Hiari, an urban devlopment architect who spoke about the city from the perspective of a woman’s body. She had a very innovative and interesting presentation that really got me thinking of context defining a city. I encourage you to check out her website on tareeq.me.

Then Saja Maghashbeh from Al-Ghor Al-Safi sang three songs about the Ghor.

One of the keynote speakers, Mona Abu Sulayman, Secretay General of AlWaleed Bin Talal Organization, followed Saja, exciting the audience with pro-women empowerment in the Arab world. I really liked her passion, and having grew up in Saudi Arabia, I feel enormous respect for a Saudi woman who has managed to do what she did.

Currently, Rawan Ababneh is on stage talking about fighting diseases with energy? Not sure honestly.

#TEDxDeadSea About to Start

Pictures before the day starts:

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Pre- #TEDxDeadSea Thoughts

For one thing, make sure you don’t miss the morning sessions. My mother, Rula Al-Assi, will be the first speaker at 9:30, in the “Empowerment of Women” section.

You can view the day’s program here.

I will be blogging and tweeting the interesting parts of the event, although I must say I’m quite annoyed at the fact that they’re shafting us bloggers and media in a separate room with streaming, as there is no Internet access on in the main hall. I might as well watch the event from the comfort of my home in Amman.

I believe the event will be live-streamed on http://www.tedxdeadsea.com

See you guys tomorrow.

Thursday Breakfast Memories

During my childhood and teenage years in Saudi Arabia, Thursday was the first day of the weekend.

Each Thursday morning, my mother would have someone get khobez tamees fresh and hot from the baker. Then, we would set the kitchen table with the bread on newspaper, and two plates of hummus, one with lots of lemon and one with none.

My family and I would spend the hour laughing and enjoying Thursday morning, dunking our tamees bread into the hummus and enjoying Pepsi.

I woke up craving tamees bread this Thursday morning. I don’t think we have any variety of bread in Jordan that is similar to tamees. For now, it is just a memory. A quick discussion with the girls I work with, who also spent time in the Gulf. A tweet. A little craving. The smell in my nose. The texture in my mouth.

That’s all.
 

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