x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Breaking Barriers and Humanity

This event occurred on
April 20, 2018
Abu Dhabi, Abū Z̧aby
United Arab Emirates

It is often said that “Sometimes we forget that to get more than we currently have, we must become more than we currently are”, and that is human. The connection between humanity and breaking barriers is infrequently interlinked. People have a tendency to talk about how they break certain barriers and they repeatedly and proudly express their sentiments. Yet, they hardly talk about overcoming their challenges through the humanity lenses. It is unique in the sense that, if we do see breaking barriers from humanity angle it opens up our minds and souls to kindness and compassion. That is why in the spirit of ideas worth spreading. Besides, as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give permission to other people to do the same. Barriers are no more than frightful things we see when we take our sight off our goal. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together through stories, personal-life examples, and viewpoints to share a “TED-like” experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. This year, we would like to open up not just the viewer’s minds but also the world to learn more about humanity in our way of breaking barriers.
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Masdar City
Khalifa Street A
Presidential Flight
Abu Dhabi, Abū Z̧aby, 54115
United Arab Emirates
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Adham Elhenawy

Adham Elhenawy is currently studying at The Winchester school , He is 17 years old and has been affiliated with an athletic academy since he was 15 years old, throughout his short journey in chasing excellence in many aspects of his athletic life and his academic life , He has taken time to understand what it means to be able to break through barriers and meet limitations and the difference between the two, He debates very frequently in many events around the country and He participates in Model United Nations on a regular basis.

Ahmad Rahhal

Ahmad Rahhal is a student at Sharjah American International School who has been participating in public speaking events for more than 5 years now. Ahmad believes in the power of speaking and how it can change the opinions of many in such a short manner of time. He continues to participate in a multiple variety of speaking events including and not limited to TEDx, MUN, awareness presentations, and school organized speaking competitions, where Ahmad received an award of excellence and distinction among high school students. Ahmad has been enrolled in a great deal of contests requiring a great deal of self-demonstration and confidence, providing him with the background and experience needed to prevail in several scenarios and present a dire issue towards an audience.

Ahmed Al-Saqqar

Ahmed Sanad Al-Saqqar is a 16 year old student in grade 11D who attends SAIS. Ahmed was born in Baghdad, Iraq on the 12th of September 2001. He moved to Canada with his family for Grades 9 and 10. He came to UAE this year to complete high school. Ahmed has studied in multiple systems including Canadian and IGCSE. Ahmed has a strong background in speeches doing multiple in Canada and even competing in regional championships. Besides academic and speech awards Ahmed also participates in a variety of sports teams winning multiple tournaments. Ahmed aims to go into health science while in university. He joined TEDx for his love of public speaking and his interest in the TEDx youtube videos. Ahmed hopes to gain much from this once in a lifetime experience, and learn things he can apply later on in life.

Aisha Binashour

Aisha saleh binashour, 16 year old Emirati youth aspiring to become a successful doctor to be of service that saves the world. She finds pleasure in volunteering in different themed events such as “Hundred hours of giving” summer camp program held in 2017. She believes that books teach us several topics that aren’t taught in school. Books makes us cognizant of the universe which is very intriguing this is exactly why reading is one of her desires and passions.

Amna Albastaki

Amna AlBastaki is the first Emirati to be selected as a Youth Ambassador to represent the youth on an international level and was a speaker at the International Youth and Innovation Forum in Singapore to represent the voices of the youth. She strongly believes that tolerance and respect is the most important aspect in life. Amna is also a well known Emirati athlete who has competed in various sports from a young age and is also the first female and youngest member of her family to compete as a national show jumper of the United Arab Emirates.

Anas Bara

Anas Bara is a senior high school student at Sharjah American International School. In his free time, he likes to read books and play some sports. He has joined in several highlighted school debates, as well as sports competitions, where he won multiple times.He is also the type of a person who stands up for his beliefs, and through his speech, this will become apparent.

Bardia P.Shoja

Bardia P.Shoja, an industrial engineering student in the American University of Sharjah. I love different experiences in life, and try to learn the most out of everything. Great passion for writing, organization, communication, public speaking, and entrepreneurship. Inspired by my father’s achievements in a life and realized that no matter where you start if you set goals in life you will end up achieving them if you work hard enough and never give up. I have many goals set that I want to achieve on the path to success. Life has given me many things and at the same time has taken away things but being optimistic and looking up will always help you move forward regardless of the up’s and down’s in life.

Fatima Alraeesi

Fatima is a senior at Sharjah American International School. She is always been interested to participate in extra-curricular activities to enhance her knowledge and her skills. She is a very hardworking person. She participated in the vex robotics competition in a couple of other competition where she organized and helped other people. She always loved to engage with other people and have the advantage or the chance to spread knowledge and help other people. It’s something that she will always take and would never take it for granted

Hashim Emad

Hashim Imad is a 17 year old student at (SAIS). He is the leader of the neuroscience team and is interested in robotics, political science and debating. When Hashim was a young boy his biggest interest was animals. He loved animals and he couldn't stop learning about them, As he grew older he decided to to dedicate a part of his life to save stray animals, stand up for their rights and defend it.

Hind Khalid

Hind Khalid is an ambitious, diligent and an intuitive student. She is on a mission to inspire, motivate and help people work towards their goals and spread information and ideas about the topics she’s interested in such as, art, mindfulness, creativity and positivity. As a self-taught artist, she’s well known for being inventive, self-motivated, creative, practical and persistent; all those interests open doors to curiosity which led her into experimenting, discovering and wanting to learn more. Hind participated in many activities that lies in the field of art and design and public speaking events in school and outside of school, such as; Tedx, Model Of United Nations and joined design workshops, Arabic calligraphy and fashion illustration classes which also lead her into participating into other new activities which lies under the category of “e-learning”, such as, robotics, neuroscience and sam lab.

Jameel Abbadi

Jameel Abbadi is a senior high school student, a firm believer in the 'YES' theory, a thrill-seeking adventurist, and recovering Ex-cheese addict dedicating his life to draw smiles and spread happiness.

Kareen Hallak

Kareen Hallak is a senior student When an opportunity arises, she is definitely one of the first people to seize that chance of a new experience. She shows this by participating in various extracurricular activities. She volunteered to organize several events in her school. She is also part of the school’s volleyball, basketball, and football team, which gives her the chance to compete in national competitions such as at the AUS and AUD Sports Day. In addition to that, she is currently participating in MUN and is a trainer in the ARDUSAT program. As a student, she never turns down a challenge. Her biggest competition is herself and she is constantly testing her ability to be one of the best. She has received Honor Rolls for her academic excellence and attained the rank of being one of the top 5 students in her class. In her spare time she practices her language skills in Russian, Arabic, and French; she also enjoys reading to enhance her knowledge and watching TV.

Karen Kassabgy

Karen Ayman Kassabgy is a sixteen year old Italian born, Egyptian who is living in the UAE. She’s an aspiring psychology major with interests for writing and reading, these two key points have strengthened both her analytical and theoretical thinking. Displaying an interest in public speaking, makes her not only a resilient character but also a figure exhibiting great communication skills with those working around her. Karen has participated in volunteering events with a variety of educational and entertaining events. She also participated in a business event that helped her know more about the business world around her.

Layan Salem

Born on 27th of July 1995, Layan Salem is the youngest child of 3 girls, senior student at Abu Dhabi University, Founder and owner of The Glam House Beauty Salon, Founder of Glam Lash line, YouTuber, social media influencer and host for her upcoming TV show with Al’an TV in Ramadan.

Leen Binchi

Identified between colleagues for her passion towards science, Leen Binchi, a junior in SAIS, always pursued a dream of becoming an astrophysicist. That wasn’t however the only interest she had, Leen Binchi is an enthusiast for coding and programming, which is why she is the lead coder of her team which is developing an app for the Technoation (girls for a change) challenge. Leen is also a great admirer of sports; she practices many games such as badminton, basketball, volleyball, dancing, etc. Due to her strong leadership personality, Leen always prefers to lead groups and help others, making communication and speaking a skill of hers, which is why participating in TEDx was a great opportunity for her to express her abilities and present to the world the crucial idea of self-expression and speech.

Mazen Brisha

Mazen Brisha is a passionate and dedicated student who constantly seeks self-improvement and progression in all of his life’s experiences. The evocative Egyptian’s unvanquishable thirst for self-betterment instigates Mazen to constantly and relentlessly attempt to enrich himself through pushing the barriers and boundaries of his knowledge and capabilities as well as consequently exceeding his highly flexible comfort zone as he seeks unattainable levels of self-fulfillment. Mazen’s progressive mentality and approach to life have enabled him to achieve great success in all his Academic, sporting and social endeavors, with Mazen being one of the top 5 best U20 shot put throwers in the country while also being one of Wesgreen International Schools Academic toppers. Mazen’s divine love for public speaking and self-expression is what has evoked his desire and enthusiasm to share his thoughts and ethos regarding barriers and how to beneficially utilize them in his first-ever TEDx conference.

Misk Burhan

Misk Al-Samarraie is a senior at Sharjah American international school (SAIS). A person who seeks answers to any and every question, deeply interested in various aspects of science, enjoys debating over every topic, and believes that you can never learn enough.

Noura Abueida

Noura Abueida, a Palestinian girl whose interests are all over the place. Noura is a student that was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer in several extracurricular activities as an organizer. Noura has helped with the organization of school fairs, volunteered in events and co-hosted an assembly raising awareness towards Diabetes. Being the active girl she is, she signs up for every opportunity she finds which results in her joining competitions such as the Environmental Competition held at AUS, a delegate in AUDMUN and AUSMUN, and a participant in VEX Robotics competition. Having a deep love for the human body, how it functions, and what goes into it, Noura is hoping to continue her studies in the Medical or Scientific field. Art has a special place in Noura’s heart where she loves admiring it and hopes to become a patron of local artists one day. Being open towards trying new things and experiencing life to its fullest, Noura has a never-ending list of things to experience.

Owais Awan

My name is Muhammad Owais Awan. I was born in late 2002 on December 22 in Sharjah, UAE. My Mother used to work as an RJ for a long time but switched to teaching shortly before my birth and still continues to teach. As a child, I was a very shy until my mother got me into voice acting. I have only become more and more confident ever since. I also have a great interest in computers and fully understood its mechanics at the age of 4. Then deleted a computer virus from a computer when I was 6. I was and still am very talented in art, building things and social engineering.

Yousef Faroukh

My name is yousuf faroukh and I am mechanical engineering student at the University of Sharjah, throughout my education both as a high school student and a college student I have received multiple national and international awards in multiple fields including: Robotics, Education, Space sciences and Defense, for my outstanding performance and effective direct participation, in the field of robotics I started the robotics club in my high school and won multiple national awards and competitions, in the field of education I gave out multiple courses for highschool and university students about robotics and space education and was honored to talk at TEDx, STEM best practice summit and at MENA teachers summit, in the field of space sciences I am currently a researcher at the University’s CubeSat project and received multiple recognitions from UAE Space Agency, UK National Space Academy and Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences. Member of multiple engineering societies,

Organizing team


Halifax, NS, Canada


Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • Adam Hodgkinson
  • Ali Mohsen
  • Charbel Abou Harb
  • Dareen Hallak
    Team member
  • Farah Odeh
  • Noor Hamad
  • Omar Allan
    Team member
  • Shady Elkassas
  • Tala Alul