Despite the turbulent year Yemen experienced in 2012, a group of Yemenis worked very hard to end the year on a positive note. The TEDxSanaa team succeeded in staging, for the first time in Yemen, an inspirational TEDx event in Sanaa on December 31 under the befitting slogan “Inspiring Hope.”
The panel of 19 speakers, included only four women and a female presenter, the Vital Voices Global Trailblazer Award wining journalist Shatha Alharazi, who later tweeted:
@ShathaAlHarazi: Although I was awarded an important international award last June, I say the best thing happened to me in 2012 is hosting #TEDxSanaa #Yemen
The speakers selected were creative and successful Yemeni personalities from different backgrounds, ages and in various fields (business, media, medicine, science and technology) who inspired the audience with their creativity, determination, innovative ideas, success stories and motivational presentations.
The event was live streamed and divided into four sections, allowing for breaks and a variety of artistic performances in between. The event started with a video message from Chris Anderson TED's Curator to TedxSanaa, who was amazed and exited that a TEDx event was held in Yemen and wished the team good luck. Video messages by Yemeni talents (Dr. Hilal Lashual, Dr. Nasser Zawiya, Dr. Manahel Thabet, Dr. Ayoub Al-Hammadi, Dr. Elham Manea, Mrs. Zahra Al-Harazi) who could not be there were also played on a large screen during the event.
Here is what some of the speakers said about the event on Twitter:
Emad Almsaodi tweeted:
مؤتمر تيدكس صنعاء كان مفعم بالحيوية والإبداع والأمل. تعرفت على شخصيات ألهمتني بالفعل. شكراً لكل من وقف وراء هذا الحدث الرائع #TedxSanaa
@almsaodi: TedxSanaa conference was full of vitality, creativity and hope. I go to know personalities that truly inspired me. Thank you to everyone who was in charge of such a great event.
Abdulrahman Jaber tweeted:
لا أدري بماذا اصف الشعورالعام في تيدكس صنعاء… سوى انه يوم استثنائي بكل ماللكلمات من معاني… اليمن ظهرت وردية اليوم… :) @tedxsanaa #yemen #يمن
@ARJaber: I don't know how to describe the general feeling in TEDxSanaa…except that it is an exceptional day in every sense that word can convey…Yemen appeared rosy today.
Iona Craig, the Times correspondent in Yemen, tweeted:
@ionacraig: Yemeni youth should be running the country if professionalism and slick presentation of #tedxsanaa is anything to go by.
Yemen Peace News tweeted saying:
@YemenPeaceNews:Yemen's youth are showing their community and the world their outstanding potential today at #TEDxSanaa. Congrats to all involved!
Sadeq Alwesabi wondered:
@sadeqalwesabi: I'm wondering if our ‘stupid’ officials are following #TEDxSanaa or they're chewing #qat. I'm sure they're doing the second. #Yemen
Yet it seems Yemen's Human Rights Minister, Hooria Mashhour was the only official following the event. She tweeted:
@Hooria_Mashhour: By following up @tedxsanaa I breathed up and have the feeling that the best era of Yemen will be coming
@Hooria_Mashhour: @mariamahmed36 @tedxsanaa I wish that minister of higher education, vocational training and M. Of labour are there to see the youth and
@Hooria_Mashhour: @mariamahmed36 @tedxsanaa think how to give them opportunities to take part in developing the country
Amal Alsuqaf posted on Facebook saying:
What a great conference @TEDxSanaa, inspired hope, overcoming obstacles, creativity, the future to become
I can't say enough about this great event :)
Thanks for the organizers, speakers, attendees
You made the new year better ♥
She also posted a photo album of the organizers and speakers behind the scene in TedxSanaa.
Sara Al-zawqari proudly tweeted:
@Sous_AlZ: #tedxsanaa was the best way to end the year! Amazing, diversified & Inspiring! Couldn't be more proud http://instagr.am/p/T6S6R_NV15/
Dr. Hilal Lashuel posted this photo on his Facebook wall:
Kudos to the TEDxSanaa organizers, presenter and all the inspirational speakers for this huge success. The event was just a sample of a promising Yemen, full of hope and people with dreams who have the potential and the perseverance to make them happen. The year in Yemen finally ended, thanks to TedxSanaa, with the hope of a better and brighter Yemen.