My name is Amany Helmy Khalil. An Egyptian wife to a Professor of Accounting at the American University in Cairo and a mother to two college Graduates. My Career began in Banking where I worked for three years right after my graduation from AUC in Business Administration until I took the decision to resign and raise my family. During that time, I Got certified to be a Fitness Instructor and pursued my love of running until I finished 16 full marathons while my two boys were in primary schooling.
Through my sons' college years, I was able to finish a half Ironman and full Ironman race (4K swimming+180k cycling + 42k running) and earn the title of the First Egyptian Mother to become an Ironman and a year later 1st Egyptian Woman to qualify and finish the number one Marathon in the world, Boston Marathon. Since then, I continue pursing my passion and sharing my story and experiences to Egyptian as well as Middle Eastern women to go after their dreams and out of their comfort zones.
Writer, Curator, Editor in Chief of Ustaza
Born in 1987 in Brittany, Coline Houssais is a researcher, curator and writer, specialising on the Arab world and culture. Coline’s own recent projects have included: “Karaokitsch” (a themed-night dedicated to Western and Eastern influences on French and Arab pop music at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris), “Lovebirds of Baghdad” (a musical and artistic experience exploring the golden age of Iraqi music presented at the Institut du Monde Arabe) and “This Is Not A Veil” (a visual journey through archives and interviews questioning the use of headwear in France through time).
As a writer, Coline is a regular contributor in a number of French media, including Wahed, a French-Arabic magazine on culture and current affairs from both sides of the Mediterranean. A graduate from Sciences Po, LSE, INALCO and IFPO, Coline currently teaches History of Arab Politics and Culture in Europe, as well as Music and Politics in Contemporary MENA at Sciences Po.
Foreign Correspondent, Journalist and Author
Irris Makler is an Australian author and foreign correspondent, who has reported from London, Moscow and now Jerusalem.
She was one of the first journalists into Afghanistan after 9-11 and has reported from Iraq and Gaza. In each place, she reports the stories women have to tell. Irris is currently working on an oral history and cooking project, gathering the life stories and recipes of Jewish Holocaust survivors, and photographing them with their grandchildren.
This multi-media project is focused on the transmission of culture and memory - the ‘taste of memory’ in fact. It is also about the power of the female elder.
International Model and Philanthropist
International model and philanthropist, Jessica Kahawaty, Australian born of Arabic origins, has bridged cultures together through her work in the fashion industry and humanitarianism.
An ambassador for some of the world's exclusive brands, Jessica uses her name to continuously shed light on global issues around the world and empower young women to reach their full potential through education, the arts and social media.
Jessica is a philanthropist at heart and has always been passionate about human rights. She completed two major humanitarian missions in 2017 with great success in raising awareness and funds. In June, she visited the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, the Zaatari camp in Jordan, on a campaign with global fashion brand, Louis Vuitton, followed by a field visit to the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh with UNHCR in December.
Whilst working in fashion at a young age, she pursued her studies in Law back in Sydney.
Kaz is a Dual BA student, currently at Sciences Po, Menton but soon heading to Columbia University to continue his studies.
It was on leaving the diverse comfort of Honolulu four years ago that prompted self-identifying Hapa, Kaz to developed an increased awareness of how people perceive differences. Hoping to shine a light on the voices of his friends, part of a generation that is very different to all that have come before, Kaz has developed a video project for this TEDx conference.
A student in the Dual BA Program between Sciences Po and Columbia University, Laura started studying Arabic at the age of 14 as a personal interest, and when she discovered the existence of the Middle- Eastern Mediterranean Campus of Sciences Po, she knew that was where she was going to go. However it’s another passion that led her here on the TEDx stage, the passion for stories.
Laura hopes to push you to notice things you have not noticed before that will greatly change your view on the power you have in social interactions. Last but not least she hopes to not only tell you a story that will make you think, but to hear stories the other speakers will share that will make her do the same.
Founder of NGO March Lebanon
Lea Baroudi is a Lebanese activist working to foster cultural and religious pluralism through peace-building activities that focus on art, culture and human rights. She is a founding Member and Director of MARCH, a Lebanese non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen civil rights, engender tolerance, foster diversity and social stability, and promote equality in Lebanon. Under her leadership, MARCH successfully lobbied for laws to lift censorship and mobilized public support for freedom of expression.
A certified professional mediator, Ms. Baroudi specializes in inter-faith and sectarian mediation and has initiated and worked actively on peace-building projects that use art, culture and economic development to resolve conflict and counter radicalization among youth in Lebanon.
A Cairo-based filmmaker, Marianne Khoury gravitated towards the cinema world soon after graduating with a degree in Economics pursued both in Cairo and Oxford . For more than three decades, Marianne has been a close collaborator of iconic filmmaker Youssef Chahine . She produced and co-produced around 30 feature films and documentaries that won several awards in regional and international festivals.
In 2010, she produced and co-directed ZELAL, individual and societal perceptions of the mentally ill, raising questions about the concept of madness itself. The film was an official entry in the Venice Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI at the Dubai Film Festival and the RAI Broadcasting award at PRIMED 2011.
Ten years later, she founded ZAWYA, the first art house cinema in Egypt . Her last initiatives, MK Productions and The Dahshur Workshops , are dedicated to the mentoring, development and production of films made by emerging Egyptian and arab talent.
UN Women's Regional Director of the Arab States
Mohammad Naciri is UN Women’s Regional Director for the Arab States Region. Before being appointed director, he served as UN Women´s deputy regional director for the Arab States.
Mohammad has extensive experience in the region and in gender and development issues. Prior to joining UN Women, Mohammad was the Deputy Country Director of UNDP in Yemen, where he supported the country in the formulation of its Gender Strategy and the Gender Responsive Budgeting process. He has worked in Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Cambodia, dealing with issues from human trafficking to ethnic cleansing.
A national of Morocco, Mohammad holds a Master's Degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. He also has a Master's degree in Business Administration from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Alexandria-Egypt.
Nicolas is a Lebanese animator and artist. In 2012, he also started studying animation because he always loved telling stories, making people dream and taking them into fantasy worlds. He graduated from the Academie Libanaise Des Beaux Arts first of his class in 2015 with his first short animation “Le voleur de casseroles”.
The film won the price of “Best Animation” at the festival ZUMEFF in Abu Dhabi and it was screened in several national and international film festivals such as: Monstra (Lisbon), Beirut Animated (Beirut), NDUIFF (Beirut), Original Narrative (Dubai), FIFOG (Geneva), Arab Film Festival (Los Angeles), Arab Film Festival (San Diego), Arab Film Festival (San Francisco), AFF Germany (Tubingen).
In 2017 his project “How grandmother became a chair” won the Arab animation forum (ITFS Stuttgart) and is currently nominated for the film prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung (2018).
If you want Omar to give a speech, you don't have to ask him twice. An Egyptian first year here in Menton, Omar Auf is interested in all things political and global, but more so, he takes a keen interest on things that hit close to home. Hence why he decided to hop across the Mediterranean and study in Menton - This is also why he is passionate about learning his language more and more, and utilizing Arabic as a means of expression and relation. Omar is a believer in the power of the poetic and inspirational in moving people, and thinks that access to large audiences is wasted on the famous.
If given the choice between skateboarding and eating pizza, Omar would choose to eat pizza whilst skateboarding.
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, President of UTICA
From May 2011 to January 2018 Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui was the President of UTICA, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, first woman elected to this position.
In 2013, with the Tunisian General Union of Lab or (UGTT), they launched the initiative of the National Dialogue, joined by the League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, they formed The Quartet, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.
Identified as one of the most influential businesswomen in Africa, she was awarded the “Best Business Woman of the Arab World” in 2013, under the auspices of the G8 Deauville Partnerships. In January 2015, the Tunisian President, Mr. Beji Caid Essebsi made her Grand Officer of the Order of the Republic, and His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, decorated her with the Royal Order of the Polar Star in November 2015. She also received in December 2015, the “Legion d’Honneur” from the French President, Mr. François Hollande.
Shahira Fahmy is an Egyptian architect, urbanist, creative researcher and actress. A Harvard Graduate, Shahira is leading the way in her industry as the founder of Shahira Fahmy Architects (SFA) with a particular focus on business and intelligence of developing cities. Shahira Fahmy is also an actress, spotted by Hong Sang Soo, her cinematic debut in ‘Claire’s Cinema’ premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. She has recently acted in the film ‘Sheikh Jackson’ by Amr Salama, which was Egypt’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film category in the Oscars 2018. Fluent in French, English and Arabic, Shahira splits her time between New York, Cairo and Paris.
Stefano Fallaha is the Founder & CEO of Fallound, an app and a software for cars that connects to car navigation systems to aggregate and summarize perfectly timed audio podcasts based on a user’s commute time and interests.
Under Stefano’s leadership, Fallound raised over 125K USD in funding from the Qatar Government, FIFA and Angel Investors. Fallound has partnered with FIFA WorldCup 2022 to stream their audio sport news to over 100 million users in 2022, and with one of the largest mobile operators in Africa with the aim of educating over 6 million African people via educational podcasts.
Stefano was on the list of the Top Executive Entrepreneurs in Lebanon at 16 years old, has been awarded “Outstanding Entrepreneur Award” for the first time in IC’s history since 1891, he posed for the cover of Arabian Business Magazine and is currently ranked as one of the Top Student Entrepreneurs in the world.
Tania is Lebanese-Venezuelan-Panamanian... No wonder why she receives so many questions from many confused individuals! Being a student in the Menton campus of Sciences Po, she is interested in exploring different narratives of the Near- and Middle East and the study of Women Rights and Gender Equality. Tania has always believed in the power of communication and in interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds to generate global awareness. This has inspired her to discuss her own experience in her unique upbringing in the Druze community with her usual infectious smile and positivity.