x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Challenges of the 21st Century

This event occurred on
June 10, 2012
11:00am - 7:00pm UTC
(UTC +0hrs)

Located in one of Amman’s major historical areas, TEDxRasAlEinSquare will expose a number of speakers from all walks of life, discussing the complex mess of a challenge in the twenty-first century. From different backgrounds they will be sharing their professional insight, stories, experiences and common concerns.

Ras Al Ein - Greater Amman Municipality
See more ­T­E­Dx­Ras­Al­Ein­Square events


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

Emad Hajjaj - Cartoonist

Emad received several awards by national and international organizations. However the first award he received was in the year 1974, at a competition held by his elementary school. Having graduated with a Major in Graphic Design and Minor in Journalism, Emad benefited very well from both areas. Working for several local and regional newspapers, in addition to working as a designer, creative director, computer illustrator, animation creator and copy writer in many local advertising agencies. He was considered for several years, till now, as one of the 100 most influential Arabic people, according to The Arabian Business Magazine’s annual list.

Farouk Yaghmour (Dr.) - Yaghmour Architects Founder

Carrying around thirty years of experience in various architectural aspects and being the principal in charge of Yaghmour Architects, Dr. Farouk holds several publications that tackle issues related to the environment and urban planning. Setting out to participate in many local and international competitions, he gained first place in several of them. Holds extensive experience in the academic field. He was the founder and chairman of The Architecture and Interior Design department at Petra University, in addition to a lecturer at The Architecture department and Faculty of Engineering at The University of Jordan. A member of several advisory committees working with the Jordanian government, advising and following-up on large-scale development projects. With his wide experience in the management of renovation, re-use and rehabilitation of old historical and cultural sites that hold a distinguished historical background, he has contributed immensely in creating public awareness towards these historical, cultural and urban sites, and supported public participation in generating specific solutions.

Lina Attel - Founder and Director-General of NCCA

Lina is the founder and director-general of The National Center for Culture and Arts of King Hussein Foundation, which was initiated by her Majesty Queen Nour Al-Hussein in 1987. She is a theater director that has contributed immensely in this area. She has also been the director of the annual International Arab Youth Congress since 1993, and introduced drama into mainstream education and the enhancement of the theater movement, where she established the first Theater Arts School in 1998 in Jordan. In addition to that, she devised the curricula for the Theater Department of the Arts and Design College at the University of Jordan. She spent time publishing articles and research papers on Theatre in Education methodology and practice for local, regional and international organizations and is deeply involved in promoting issues related to democracy and human rights for youth and women. She holds a Masters degree in Theatre Arts from The University of Wales, and is an international certified trainer in drama and theater in education, acting and directing, communication and life skills, the art of public speaking and performing arts management. Using this unique combination of qualifications, she has successfully produced and directed several artistic programs in theatre, television and radio, related to empowering communities and the participation of youth in socio-economic development.

Nasser Salameh - Percussionist

Mastering the art of percussion and playing uniquely on different percussion instruments, Nasser has been working with local groups and appearing regularly with both regional and international outfits. Has accompanied oud professionals from all over the world in addition to being part of the ensemble of renowned international musicians in Zade Dirani’s “One Night in Jordan” concert. Passing on his knowledge, deep insight and good judgment, Nasser worked as an educator of percussion and took part in the judging panel on the TV show “Super Star”. An expert when it comes to intricate art of Arabic instruments and rhythms as well as Latin percussion instruments (Congas, Bongos, Cajon).

Rashed Al Nasa'a,Senior Design Architect, Associate

Having participated as a speaker in numerous important local and regional events as well as conferences related to sustainability and the built environment, Rashed dug deep in issues related to “going green” on a number of levels from environmental awareness to sustainable design. He joined the team at Consolidated Consultants (CC) immediately after obtaining his bachelors in Architecture, and is now head of the CC Green Building Unit. Upon pursuing his Masters degree in Environmental Design and Engineering, Rashed has been involved in the design and coordination of various Green Building projects locally and regionally and continues his voluntary efforts with a number of initiatives and organizations in this field.

Sanaa Abdo (Dr.) -Motivational Speaker

A uniquely self-aware energetic positive individual, possesses dynamic qualities that allow her to be affective in training skills such as: time management, positive thinking, stress management and critical thinking. Sanaa is capable of designing and tailoring any training sessions to meet a clients’ needs. She created the “Zero Budget Happiness” theory and launched it at The New Think Theatre. Aside from her charismatic freelance training and motivational speaking, she wrote four books on astronomy and launched them as E-books for public use. Being an associate member of writing the Ministry of Education’s curriculum, she helped write many books at secondary school level. When it comes to topics regarding astronomy, education, and training, Sanaa excels flawlessly, having received several medals and certificates for participating in more than twenty-seven national, arab and international conferences.

Sandy Abu Arja - School Administrator

Sandy Abu-Arja is a professional school administrator, educator, coach, mentor and trainer. She has the passion, patience and experience to work with peers, parents, teachers, colleagues, as well as young and adult learners. The more she gets involved with people, the more she dedicates herself into finding ways to better improve her delivery methods. She earned her first Bachelor of Science degree in Economics while running her small business in the USA. Then she started volunteering at local schools in the states where she found her true passion. Sandy became a teaching assistant while she returned back to university to continue her schooling where she earned a BS & Masters in education because she firmly believes that educators must be equipped with the science & theory of education in order to be successful in their profession. She also holds a teaching license from the state of Oklahoma. Internationally, she worked as a teacher at three local private schools in Amman, Jordan where she is currently the Head of Kindergarten at Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS). She is also a member of the ABS leadership/management team and serves on several committees. Sandy was the project manager of the construction of the purpose-built, state of the art kindergarten facility that opened its door in 2010. She led the NEASC & CIS Re-accreditation process at ABS that was based on the 7th edition standards & practices and has been recruited to serve as a consultant and visiting team member in the accreditation process for other schools in the region – Kuwait City, Kuwait and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. She recently attended a CIS School Improvement through Accreditation “Journey to Excellence in International Education” The Main Guide to School Evaluation & Accreditation 8th Edition Training. On many occasions, she was invited to present, facilitate and participate in conferences and has conducted training workshops for local and regional educators and business professionals. She shows her commitment to education and training by attending local and international educators and leadership conferences.

Shadi Izmiqna - Social & Business Entrepreneur

Shadi walks around spreading the belief that “Living outside the comfort zone can be the best motivator.” An inspirational speaker and leadership trainer, carrying more than 10 years of experience in leading NGOs and international clubs for the youth. His recent venture was establishing a branch for Junior chamber International in Jordan, and he has led JCI Jordan as the National President for two years (2010 - 2011). Through JCI Jordan and with his solid-energetic character, he has been actively engaged in sustainable community development initiatives. Notably known as a public speaker in Toastmasters, where he is now serving as the Vice President for Membership at Amman International Toastmasters Club (AITC). He was awarded first place twice in presenting “Prepared Speeches” on a national level. He is also a mentor for new members in Toastmasters. Additionally, he is a mentor for startups and entrepreneurs certified by Mowgli Foundation. On a professional level, he has accumulated experience in different business disciplines. Early in his career life, he worked as an architect, his field of education, spanning over to project management and contracting. In 2007, he established his own company Edara Property Marketing and Management. Upon the challenges facing the real estate sector, he pursued a different path in training and management consulting. Between 2009 and 2011, he has also worked for an international company based in Germany called “HSG Zander” as a business development manager. This social and business entrepreneur believes that a good leader is one that grooms good leaders, not one that has good followers.

Stevie Al Ali - Guitarist

It is relatively rare to come across an individual that accepts criticism, let alone creative criticism. Stevie is a learner eager to grow and support. He accepts criticism in all it’s forms for the advantage of growing better. Holds extensive professional and educational backgrounds, along with a lot of experience in the combined fields of Marketing, advertising and Branding. With his Bachelor's degree in Music, Stevie has certainly gathered dynamic expertise. He worked as a guitar instructor, teaching music and preparing student for examinations, as well as teaching private lessons. Performed in many different concerts, including the late King Hussein’s birthday in both 1996 and 1997.

Tareq Al Nasser - Musician/Composer

Holding strong belief that spontaneity is the most key essential factor in his work world of music, composing and arranging. Tareq is one of the most well known influential pioneers in the movement to revive Arabic music. Leaving traces of his work in soundtracks of Arabic television series, most notably: “Nihayat Rajul Shujaa” a drama series based on a novel and followed by “Al Jawareh”. He leaves behind his striking unconventional approach, breaking away from inflexible patterns of Arabic music. For this remarkable vision, Tareq received an award for best soundtrack in the television series “Al-Malek Farouq” as well as another award for his soundtrack, along side of Omar Al-Khayraat, in “Al-Qaa Qaa” television series. Being a unique artist, he recognizes many other unique artists as his idols: Omar Khairat, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Kitaro, Assi and Zaid Rahbani. For Tareq, each one of these artists sets an example for him to follow. One of the most outstanding milestones in Tareq’s life was along side of Russol Al Nasser, together they founded Rum in 1998, as an independent musical group that plays Al Nasser's original pieces. The group brought together twenty five musicians with different musical backgrounds exhibiting great harmony. Around the world in more than 120 local, Arab and international cultural festivals, Rum have performed superbly, as a result of Al Nasser's continuous research in music and treading into new grounds of music.

Ali Abu Jarad - Singer

A student at The International Islamic University of Science. He volunteered with The Bas’metna team, which is a group of teens that aim to leave their traces as smiles on people’s faces. He is also a singer at Zaha Cultural Center, as well as a member of it’s newspaper’s team. Furthermore, Ali participated in Tomorrow’s Star competition and was awarded third place.

Bader Attari - Insurance Specialist

With his ten years of experience in the banking and insurance industry in different national and multinational companies, Bader possesses excellent interpersonal communication and negotiation skills, as well as, a high level of flexibility and willingness to share his knowledge with the community; specially with the new generation. An MBA holder, who has been honored by the Insurance Commission twice for gaining the first rank in Insurance Diploma and Advanced Diploma through Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance (B.I.B.F.). Thereafter, Bader acquired a Diploma in Insurance from The Chartered Insurance Institute (Dip CII), United Kingdom. He is currently holding the position of "Reinsurance Treaties Administration Manager" at Trust International Insurance Company (Cyprus) Ltd and enjoys managing, motivating and training teams with the vision of creating a performance-based environment which fosters learning.

Basem Bandak - Mentalist

A nineteen year old carrying around a rather strange talent. He is a mentalist that portrays mind reading illusions through psychological tricks. His acts are mashed up in a distinctively entertaining way. Basem’s interests evolve around facts regarding human communication and how around 90% of it is nonverbal and occurring on a subconscious level. He is also fascinated by body language experts and how they can spot liars.

Belal Raslan and Neda'a Kharoub

Belal and Neda’ are the founders of “Trip to Innovation” (TTI). An NGO that aims to create a platform that supports building "Innovation Culture" and "Social Entrepreneurship" among Jordanian Youth. Belal is an entrepreneur dedicated to community activism, on the other hand, Neda’ is highly engaged in knowledge sharing and spreading positive energy. While he received a Bsc degree in computer science, and currently is the director/founder of Quality Partners, a leading software quality consulting company, Ned'aa holds an Actuarial Science degree and is working in Human Resources and youth capacity building programs. Moreover, Belal is a board member of “Jordan Computers Society” and “Software Quality & Testing Board”. Furthermore, Neda’ is a blogger and writer for many local and international bodies.

Eva Abu Halaweh - Executive Director, Mizan Law

Eva Abu Halaweh is the co-founder and current Executive Director of Mizan. A noted lawyer and human rights activist in Jordan. She received the International Women of Courage Award in 2011. Eva holds a BA in Law, as well as a Masters degree in Diplomacy. Coordinates several projects, including those targeted to providing assistance to vulnerable clients, such as children in conflict with the law, women at risk, migrant domestic workers and refugees. Prior to the establishment of Mizan, she maintained a private practice and worked as a legal advisor at UNHCR, and as a trainer in issues regarding the rights of refugees

Yara Shaban

Yara graduated from The University of Jordan with an Undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, during her time there she and her colleagues received funding from The King Abdullah II Fund for Development, to implement their proposed autonomous vehicle project. She subsequently worked as a researcher at The King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau, until summer of 2010, when she joined the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University at NASA Ames Campus in Mountain View, California. Moreover, in 2011 she became the first Jordanian TED Fellow. In addition to that, she curated TEDxRamallah@Amman. Currently working with GIS-based software services for the telecommunication industry. And on the side of everything else, she likes to write cultural observation pieces at 7iber.com and play the piano, she also has a special love for the Arabic language as well as a high interest in the process of learning human intelligence and creativity

Organizing team


Amman, Jordan
  • Dana Audalla
  • Salma Tabari
    Creative Writer
  • Eid Shkhaidem
    Web Developer
  • Ghassan Hilow
    Registration Coordinator
  • Hussein Tirawi
    Logistics Coordinator
  • Ayd Asraf
    Social Media Coordinator
  • Abdullah Faqeir
    Social Media Team Member
  • Ghadeer Bandak
    Volunteers Coordinator
  • Mo'tassem Awad
    Production and Media Coordinator / Lead Photographer