x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Education, Creativity & Entrepreneurship

This event occurred on
April 30, 2011
8:30am - 6:15pm EEST
(UTC +3hrs)
Dead Sea

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDxDeadSea is proud to present its first event, “Education, Creativity & Entrepreneurship”, a full-day of inspirational and stimulating talks from leading entrepreneurs, creative minds as well as champions of Education and Empowerment of Women, from Jordan, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Kempinski Hotel Ishtar
Dead Sea
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Muna AbuSulayman

Muna AbuSulayman currently serves as the Secretary General of The Alwaleed Bin Talal Kingdom Foundation (ABTF). Ms. AbuSulayman is also one of the Arab world’s leading media personalities and first Saudi UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Due to her diverse work experience Ms. AbuSulayman has acquired expertise that spans across many critical fields, including East-West relations, strategic philanthropy, interfaith dialogue, women’s empowerment, youth, media, and entertainment.

Shamil Idriss

Shamil Idriss is Chief Executive Officer of Soliya, an international non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people to use new media tools to advance social change and improve cross-cultural understanding within and between their societies. He assumed this position after negotiating the merger of Soliya with the Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund, a consortium of media industry leaders and philanthropists dedicated to using mass media to improve cross-cultural respect, for which he served as Executive Director from January 2009 until the two organizations merged in October 2009.

Anne Habiby

Anne Habiby co-founded AllWorld Network in 2007 to scale ALL the growth entrepreneurs of the emerging world by 2015. AllWorld is building the world’s largest entrepreneurship and information network to advance economies. AllWorld Network is developing the Arabia 500, Africa 500, Asia 500, Latin America 500 and Eurasia 500. These are rankings of the fastest growing up and coming private companies – the companies creating the next economy of jobs and innovation. Anne Habiby is one of the founders of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit launched in 1995 by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to expand the job and business base of distressed urban areas.

Hamza Abid

Hamza Abid is a Palestinian refugee, born in Baqa’a Refugee Camp, Jordan. He is only 19 years old. Baqa’a was just one of six “emergency” refugee camps which was set up in Jordan in 1968, to accommodate the Palestinian refugees and displaced persons, who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli “six day” war. Absolutely love God, will not hide who he is or where he is from, for he is not ashamed. Accordingly, he has true passion for helping others, wants to make a difference in people’s lives, hates stereotypes and gets along with everyone. He is hard-working, straightforward, strive for perfection, and in a battle with confidence.

Laith Al-Qasem

Laith Al-Qasem currently holds several positions: Chairman of Arabian Business Consultants for Development, Chief of Party of the USAID funded Jordan Economic Development Program, Chairman of RUBICON (Jordan Training Technology Group). Mr. Al-Qasem is a member of the Jordanian Economic and Social Council, founder and board member of the Young Entrepreneurs Association, President of Partners Jordan for Democratic Change, Chairman of the Al-Aman fund for Orphans, Treasurer and board member of Tkiyet Um Ali.

Sandra Hiari

Sandra Hiari works along the messy crossroads of urbanism, architecture, and planning. She is founder of tareeq, a factory focused on performative urbanism in the fields of media and city design. It acts as a vehicle to understand the city through contextualizing media and virtual space for urban discourse. Sandra holds a graduate degree in urban design from the City College of New York (CCNY/CUNY) in Manhattan, under the direction of urbanist & visionary Michael Sorkin. She also studied under the geographer David Harvey.

Mahmoud Al-Qudsi

Mahmoud Al-Qudsi is a twenty-two year-old Computer Engineering graduate from the Jordan University of Science and Technology. An enthusiastic technologist with a passion for new ideas and experimentation, he founded NeoSmart Technologies, a software Research & Development organization, in 2004 and has served since then as its Director. In that position, Al-Qudsi has developed a number of applications that have been downloaded and distributed over 25 million times.

Amanda Hamati

Amanda Hamati is a 16-year-old student at Modern Montessori School. She started singing when she was young at her school’s choir just as a hobby, but started taking it more seriously when she participated at her first talent show held at her school. The audience went crazy after her performance, which encouraged her to work hard because she’s got the potential.

Henna Al-Khalili

Henna Al-Khalili is driven by her passion to create eco-friendly and sustainable habitats focusing on social entrepreneurship to empower woman and support communities. She hopes to preserve the cultural identity of the communities she works with while promoting the best ecological practices, knowledge, health, awareness and sustainability.

Khalida Qattash

Long before pursuing a B.A. degree in Literature, and an M.A. in Education, Mrs. Qattash knew she wanted to teach. As a student, the idea of taking without giving has always been a haunting one that led her, early in life, to the conclusion that learning has to be reciprocal even if one is a teacher, especially when one is to be a teacher; people don’t grow otherwise. Accordingly, Khalida’s journey, which started as a substitute teacher in public schools, to her position now at The Ahliyyah School for Girls as a teacher of Language, Literature, and Theory of Knowledge and Head of the Library and Media Center, has enabled her to crystallize what she consider to be her mission in life: to provoke. She has learned throughout this journey that change is a constant a person must embrace to develop. As a result, each day, semester, year, and course is a new one that invites exploration, reflection, and transformation. Mrs. Qattash’s fifteen years of experience in teaching feel to her as if they began yesterday.

Amer Kokh

Amer Kokh is a self-taught artist born In Amman-Jordan. He studied Law at the A.S.U in Amman. While studying at university, Amer kept hold of his dream of opening a studio that produces Cartoons and Comics. In 1998 he started working in an IT company at the animation department team leader and animation director making educational cartoons. In 2005 he opened his own company CRAZY PIRANHA, Working on many cartoon series around the world such as Samurai Love God for Comedy Central and Shabiyat Al Cartoon for Sama Dubai. Currently Amer is working on new cartoon titles and games to be published worldwide.

The Junior Band

The Junior Band, a group of young talented performers who share their passion for music. The band was formed two years ago, and performed in several private concerts for the Association. They play different types of music: Latin American, Oldies and Arabic.

Imad Naffa

The Founder and President of NAFFA International of Fresno, CA, USA ( Imad was born in Amman, Jordan, attended Bishop’s High School in Jebel Amman, and moved to the US in 1980 to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering. After graduating from Fresno State University in 1984, he began working in the fields of Building Codes, Plan Review, Disabled Access Standards, Earthquake (Seismic) Engineering, Fire and Life Safety Regulations. In 2001, Imad founded NAFFA International, a consulting engineering firm that provides services to over 100 cities and counties throughout the US. NAFFA also develops web-based technical resources and forums used by international architects, engineers, consultants and building regulation officials.

Saja Maghasbeh

From the balmy depths of Ghor Al-Mazra3a, comes the unique voice of a 17-year-old Saja Maghasbeh. Saja grew up from a close-knit family of eight members who have had the pleasure of her easing singing since she was five years old. Growing up she enjoyed listening to Arab classics and singing along to Um Kalthoum and Warda Al Jaza’eeriy. She was captivated by the lyric, rhythms and voices. As Saja grew, her love for singing grew with her. Her family and teachers pushed her to develop this artistic talent. Saja recalls her fourth grade math teacher encouraging her to sing, but she was shy and timid to sing in front of a live audience other than her family. So her teacher challenged her and told her to sing alone in front of the class. Her teacher was so impressed with her voice she requested for Saja to sing the song four times before the class.

G Sharp

G Sharp is a music band made up of 4 members who learned to play music from a young age. Their shared love of music resulted in creating great harmony between them. They play several styles, Latin American, Jazz and modern Arabic. The band was formed a year ago and performed in Private events only.

Mohammad Alhajji

Mohammad is an IT graduate with an MBA degree from NYIT University in Amman, Jordan. He is currently an Internal Auditor for Aramex. He grew up with the passion of bringing things back to life, using any materials available around him to build things; he tends to do this at his free time as a hobby. Having the childhood ambition and traveling to many countries as part of his job enlightened him to look at things from a different perspective, leading to a dream that all people should become aware of: the importance of waste being recycled and turned into useful and beautiful objects.

Ahmad Farah

Ahmad Farah is a local musician from Jordan. He started playing acoustic guitar ten years ago. He performed with many different bands. And currently working on two different projects: Perfect and Insane, which is mainly a one-man project His first album SCARS is almost ready, which contains original songs along with some covers.

Rula Al-Assi

Rula Al-Assi is a human development, consultant focused on motivational speaking. She works on motivating people by changing their attitudes, which enables them to give the best they can give in both their professional lives and personal lives. This stems from her belief that if people learn how to change their attitudes- and that of the people around them – there would less stress, better communication, more happiness and more productivity.

Dr. Zaid Ghazzawi

Dr. Zaid Ghazzawi conducted his education in a traditional way by completing a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Surrey (UK). But during His Ph.D. he started re-evaluating the way education is done in the world and contemplating the idea that education can by made much better by adopting a completely different approach compared to what people are accustomed to. The basic premise of Dr. Ghazzawi’s approach to education is to find direct solutions to real life problems facing people by turning to the verses of The Quran by pondering upon them to deduce knowledge that can be implemented to solve these problems facing people.

Esraa Al Asasfeh

Esraa has been experimenting on certain scientific theories in the field of Pure Science. ‪She discovered these theories when she was only 14 years old, which she submitted to Jordanian universities, mainly her university, the Mu’tah University. ‪The Mu’tah University offered her some assistance despite her young age by allowing her to use their laboratories to carry out her work after school hours.

Ghassan Halazon

Ghassan Halazon is the CEO at, Canada’s first and largest independent team-buying website. The TeamBuy concept revolves around introducing businesses to a large number of new customers through the power of group buying. After a year and a half, TeamBuy currently has a team of 75+ employees, and is operational in 13 cities. The Company is approaching a million members and recently made the top #300 websites on Alexa Canada, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the country. TeamBuy took to the national stage when Ghassan and his partners appeared on the Dragons’ Den, a popular Reality TV show on CBC in front of 2 million viewers. TeamBuy is partly funded by a prominent European technology and social commerce investor.

Rawan Ababneh

Rawan Ababneh is the Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in the Middle East & North Africa (Friends MENA). Rawan has accumulated 15 years of experience in project management. By working with (UNICEF) and managing the creation of participatory democratic structure, additionally worked with the USAID funded Jordanian Tourism Development Project by leading the National Tourism Public Awareness Campaign, and managed Naseej- Youth Development project in Jordan and Lebanon.

Mohammed Al-Kilany

Mohammed Al-Kilany is using mobile-phone technology to connect young graduates with employers and to help international relief organizations reach rural communities more effectively. Mohammed co-founded the social enterprise Souktel to address the inherent inequalities within the labor market, where opportunities are often handed to the privileged and well-connected while the majority of young people struggle to even get information about local jobs.

Dr. Rana Dajani

Dr. Dajani is an assistant professor in molecular biology in the faculty of science at the Hashemite University in Jordan. Dr. Dajani is a Fulbright scholar and a Howard Hughes pre-doctoral award nominee during her PhD. Dr. Dajani teaches in an unorthodox way. She is the first person to introduce teaching using Problem Based Learning (PBL) in Jordan. She uses it in all her courses. She has participated in conferences discussing implementation of PBL in the Arab World and gave lectures at her university to new faculty encouraging them to use PBL as a tool of instruction.

Muna Awad

Education has always been a priority in Muna Awad’s life, as a source of continuous personal growth. Muna grew up in a household that appreciated talent and creativity and provided her with the tools to excel in formal education. As a result of this support, Muna is an accomplished singer and musician, playing the keyboard, Oud and guitar. Her father also is an inspiration as the founder of the Modern Language Center, established in 1970 as the premier Jordanian institute to learn English. Completing her Master’s degree in Education at Bath University in England recently provided an opportunity to paint a new vision of how parents and communities can positively support children in their life education.

Zaid Modhi

Zaid Modhi, born on the 1st of September, 1986, is a Jordanian musician. Being brought up in a family that appreciates arts, his parents pushed him into learning music. At the age of 9, being taught by Miss Maha Darwish, he started playing the piano, and had his first concert at the age of 12. When he was 14 he started learning Oud and since then he has merged western and classical music with eastern and oriental music. At the age of 18 he started composing songs and lyrics.

James & Shaylyn Garrett

James Garrett and Shaylyn Romney Garrett are American Peace Corps Volunteers who have been living in Salt, Jordan for the past eighteen months. Shaylyn teaches English in a government girls’ school and James works with boys in an after-school government youth center. They are committed educators whose work in Jordan has focused on promoting critical and creative thinking. Their curriculum, called “Brain Camp,” is an educational intervention that focuses on building eight critical thinking skills with the aim of equipping the rising generation of Jordanians to become creative and effective problem solvers.

Abdel Rahman Alzorgan

Abdel Rahman was born in 1990, got educated in government schools, interested in voluntary work, launched awareness campaign as a comedian actor at his university and local community. He is studying Mechatronics Engineering at Tafila Technical University. With his youngest brother Mohammad – 20 years – they have started a research related to irrigation systems and protecting crops from frost when they were 6th grade students, then they developed it in 2006 and participated twice in INTEL ISEF (Science and Engineering Fair) which is held in the United States every year.

Maha Darwish

Maha Darwish: Has a BA in English literature and a BA in Music. Established the NGO IBDAA with a group of creative and hardworking women, and is currently the Head of the organization. IBDAA is an organization that adopts and supports talented and creative students whose ages range between 5 and 20 years old. Through the first two years of the establishment, IBDAA adopted 40 students in different fields.

Omar Al-Hijazi

Omar was born in Amman in 1988. He is youngest member of the family, studies Computer Science in Ma’an City, Jordan. He has an outstanding prominence in the field of public speaking and writing, he is well known for obtaining communication, speech and leadership skills which qualified him to represent Jordan in numerous events such as the Asian Telecommunication Conference in Bangkok, 2008 and the East West initiative to build the bridge between East and West. He also is an active member of Injaz. Omar is also a researcher assistant for the International Telecommunication Union for the Public schools in the Middle East.

Organizing team


Amman, Jordan
  • Hassan Abdul-Hadi
  • Hamzeh Abdul-Hadi
    Sponsorship Manager
  • Ali Dahmash
    Chief Blogger
  • Roba Al-Assi
  • Lara Abdul-Hadi
  • Rani Dababneh
  • Yazan Mousa
  • Neda' Kharoub
    Volunteers Coordinator
  • Yanal Abdel Rahim
    Logistics Manager
  • Noora Shanak
    Program Coordinator
  • Khaled Hakim
    Web Services Expert
  • Yasmeen Asfour
    Graphic Designer
  • Reem Soudani
  • Muhannad Taslaq
    Volunteers Manager
  • Mohammad Azzam