x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Be Well & Flourish

This event occurred on
March 27, 2019
Riyadh, Ar Riyāḑ
Saudi Arabia

This year's TEDxYouth@AIS-R talks highlight a variety of ideas that connect with our school-wide theme, Be Well & Flourish. Thirteen inspiring students from our elementary, middle and high school share their Big Ideas on topics like overcoming fears, the benefits of playing a musical instrument, why creativity matters, how everyone can make a difference, how to persevere, developing your independence, the benefits of mindfulness, meditation and gratitude, putting an end to bullying and more! Our speaker lineup also includes two adults from our flourishing community, an Art Teacher who believes that Contemporary Art is an essential part of every child's education and a Social Justice Activist and parent who shares how she found a sense of purpose in life through Ikigai, a Japanese philosophy. We hope that the talks shared by this year's passionate speakers will help you to achieve greater well-being and balance in your life.

American International School Riyadh
PO Box 5101
Riyadh, Ar Riyāḑ, 11422
Saudi Arabia
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­A­I­S­R events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abdulwahab Baaj

Grade 5 student @AIS-R
Abdulwahab was born in Boston and considers it to be his home. His family background is Syrian. Abdulwahab's favorite sports team is the New England Patriots. His favorite school subjects are math, reading, and science. When Abdulwahab grows up he wants to be an astrophysicist. In his free time he plays with puzzles, reads, does math, plays sports, and enjoys time with his family. Abdulwahab talks to us about perseverance and why it is so important to keep trying even during difficult times. He uses stories about Tom Brady and his family's experience leaving Syria and resettling in the United States as examples of perseverance.

Althea Albert

Grade 6 student @AIS-R
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Althea Albert has also lived in the Dominican Republic and this is her 4th year in Saudi Arabia. Althea has two younger brothers, one in fourth grade and the other in KG1. Althea has had previous experience by doing a TEDx talk in 2018. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and playing her flute and violin which is what inspired her TEDx talk. She is so excited to share her love of musical instruments in this TEDx talk! In her talk, Althea describes four of the benefits of playing an instrument along with some stories from her real life.

Dua'a Yaser Faquih

Grade 11 student @AIS-R
Originally from Saudi Arabia, Dua’a has lived most of her life in Houston, Texas until returning to Riyadh this year to study at AIS-R. She is in 11th grade, and her favorite subjects are Global Politics and English. In her free time, she enjoys running and photography. She aspires to be a journalist, travelling the world and reporting on current events. She’s very excited to be speaking at this year’s TEDx! In her talk, Dua’a shares her experience of practicing her faith in a foreign country, and shares ideas about integrating into different cultural environments.

Emily Relf

UES Art Teacher
Originally from Massachusetts, USA, Emily is now a dedicated international teacher who has been enthusiastically teaching art to grades 3 - 5 at AIS-R for four years. She has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Art History and a teaching credential in Visual Art from the State of California. The accomplishment she is most recently proud of is being part of the Art21 Educators’ Program. Emily is convinced that contemporary art will transform the world. As a part-time artist, she loves creating site specific installations and is often found seeking out abandoned and unconventionally beautiful places. This talk is inspired by how she’s seen contemporary art fascinate, amaze, bewilder, and transform children and their view of what is possible as a creative person. In her talk, Emily encourages contemporary art as a powerful part of a child’s art education.

Farah Aljishi

Grade 6 student @AIS-R
Farrah was born in Houston, Texas and she is currently living in Riyadh. She loves playing sports and music. Farrah enjoys piano, swim team, martial arts, drawing, and drama. She participated in two plays and had a blast. Farrah has an adventurous side. She loves roller coasters and she went parachuting when she was six. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family, friends, and her two adorable little puppies. Farrah cannot wait to form more sweet memories and work towards understanding life. For a couple of years Farrah wondered a lot about happiness. She wanted to understand how it worked, what is was, and how to be happy. She shares her musings about happiness in this talk.

Ghala Alhammad

Grade 11 student @AIS-R
Ghala was born and raised in Riyadh and this is her first year attending AIS-R. She has two older brothers who study abroad in the United States and Spain. Ghala is aspiring to become a commercial lawyer, and her favorite classes include Economics and Global Politics. Ghala is very grateful for this opportunity to be a part of TEDx. Ghala hopes to encourage the audience to not miss out on opportunities because of a fear of failing.

Gracyn Pilgrim

Grade 5 student @AIS-R
Gracyn is originally from South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Before moving here she lived in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. She speaks some Spanish thanks to that experience. It is her 4th year in Saudi Arabia, and she has been attending AIS-R since grade two. Gracyn is now in grade five and she is eleven years old. She has a younger sister, Carys, in grade three. Her favourite subjects are, Performing Arts, Art, and Reading. Gracyn loves horseback riding with her family. That is where she got the idea of gratitude. Gracyn is very excited and cannot believe that she is a part of the TEDx@AIS-R event of 2019. In her talk she refers to some things that she has experienced throughout her life. She uses personal examples and some props to illustrate her ideas about the many benefits of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Gratitude.

Hiba Ahmer

Grade 7 student @AIS-R
Hiba was born in Pakistan and moved to Riyadh when she was one. She likes to draw, read, and be with her family. Her favorite subject is math. Hiba wants to become an animator when she’s older. Hiba chose to talk about creativity as she loves to be creative through her drawing, reading, and listening to music! She’s very happy to be a part of this year’s TEDx! In her talk, Hiba explains how you can be more creative and why you should develop your creativity.

Hikmat Alzaim

Grade 8 student @AIS-R
Hikmat was born in Lebanon and is now 14 years old. He is originally from Saudi Arabia and has lived in Riyadh all his life. Hikmat was first schooled in a traditional boys only institution, but happily made the move to AIS-R, an American international school, two years ago. Hikmat has a clear vision of the benefits of living in a diverse world in which every culture on this planet is valued equally. He also has an interest in entrepreneurship, having sold recycled products and made business plans. Hikmat dreams of becoming a social entrepreneur who takes actions to help the community. He is really excited about giving his talk with the team of TEDx. In his talk, Hikmat expresses his view that people should consider why they dress the way they do and be proud of their cultural heritage. This way, as global citizens, we will benefit from the diversity of cultures existing in our World.

Jane Welsh

Social Justice Activist and AIS-R parent
Originally from Australia, Jane moved to Riyadh in June 2018 with her husband and son. Jane is a social justice activist and since 2002, she has worked in international community development, focusing on gender-based violence, disability inclusion, and reproductive health. She has a Bachelor of Social Science in International Community Development and was a Rotary World Peace Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Masters in Anthropology. Currently Jane is working with deaf women on a sustainable fashion and handicrafts project. This talk is inspired by Jane’s own Ikigai journey and she hopes that everyone can find “a reason to wake up in the morning”! In her talk, Jane describes the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai and how others, especially young people, can find their life’s passion and purpose.

Khalid Alissa

Grade 7 student @AIS-R
Khalid was born in Pennsylvania, but he is originally from Saudi Arabia. He has an older sister in 9th grade and a younger brother in 4th grade. Khalid has lived in three different countries: United States, France and Saudi Arabia. Khalid enjoys sports in general but his favorites are soccer and swimming. Other than sports, Khalid enjoys reading, playing with friends, and playing the trumpet and the piano. Khalid speaks 3 language fluently: English, French and Arabic. Khalid chose this topic because he wants us all to contribute positively and have an impact on the world. Khalid is very happy and grateful to have the chance in participating in TEDx. In his talk, Khalid explains how to make a difference and the importance of making a change and the effects of it.

Kwanjung Pyo

Grade 4 student @AIS-R
Kwanjung (Zak) is from South Korea, and lived in New Zealand before moving to Riyadh. Some of his favorite subjects include Math, WHF, and STEM. Zak’s signature strengths are curiosity, love of learning, and positivity, everything an AIS-R Eagle should be. Outside of school, Zak loves to play basketball and to swim. In this talk, Zak hopes to inspire you to take action and overcome your fears. In this talk, Zak describes how he was able to overcome his fear and give his best performance during a swimming competition.

Simran Kaur

Grade 10 student @AIS-R
Simran is a sixteen year old currently residing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Hailing from multicultural Singapore, she has been exposed to diversity very early in her life. Her extensive travel and nomadic way of life since birth has also brought an array of experiences. Simran has also been involved in a variety of extracurriculars, such as Habitat for Humanity and Model United Nations, as well as representing AIS-R in badminton and volleyball competitions. She is also an avid reader who in her free time, enjoys drawing, videography and playing a variety of musical instruments. Simran aspires to excel academically and eventually pursue a career in international relations or law. She also hopes to venture and gather as many experiences as possible, to broaden her horizons and to one day, become a capable and meaningful world citizen. In her talk, Simran reflects on her experiences as a third culture kid who has lived in numerous countries.

Taimur Naeem

Grade 4 student @AIS-R
Taimur is from Pakistan, and lived in Oman for 5 years. He moved to Riyadh when he was in grade two. Some of Taimur’s favorite subjects include, math, reading, STEM, and WHF (Wellness, Health and Fitness). Taimur is positive, optimistic, and loves learning, everything an AIS-R Eagle should be! Outside of school, Taimur loves to play soccer, read Rick Riordan's novels, and hang out with his friends. In this talk, Taimur hopes to convince more parents to provide opportunities for their children to take reasonable risks, develop their independence, and be proud of their ability to solve problems and be resourceful. In this talk, Taimur describes the challenges and obstacles of being without his mom for half of his summer and how that helped him grow his independence, responsibility, and bravery.

Walid Iqbal

Grade 5 student @AIS-R
Walid was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived here his whole life, but, don’t let that fool you, because he is a proud American at heart. Walid plans on attending university to become a chemist with the goal of developing medicine to help people live healthier lives . His favorite classes are STEM, WHF (Wellness, Health, and Fitness), and Writing. Walid has a mostly optimistic outlook on life and he appreciates humor. During the weekend he usually plays soccer with his friends and takes nature walks. He is very honored to be a TEDx@AIS-R speaker. In his talk, Walid is sharing how he and others have felt when bullied and he provides tips on how we can all help end bullying. He is aware of the fact that too many people have experienced bullying and he is very passionate about making the World a kinder place.

Organizing team


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia