x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Because I Want

This event occurred on
February 2, 2013
10:00am - 5:00pm +04
(UTC +4hrs)
United Arab Emirates

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together 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. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

The American University in Dubai Auditorium
United Arab Emirates
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ashwaq Al Atoli

She is a 22 years old fresh Digital Production and Storytelling graduate from the American University in Dubai. She is into directing and filming. She has directed so far one short fiction film called "Come with me!" 2012. She is also a comic-artist and writer. She is working on her first series comic “ADAM101”which is currently under “Comic Pro” publishing company. Her hobbies and talents are mainly in sketching and designing.

Haifa Beseisso

She is a 21 years old Palestinian/American. She was born in the Emirates and lived in it her whole life. She is a media graduate; Digital Production and Story Telling, from Mohammed Bin Rashed School for Communication, at the American University in Dubai. She is driven by a cause, a cause of bringing goodness, peace, and understanding to humanity and that’s why she started a student club called Live N Give which is one of the most active humanitarian clubs at AUD. She is so interested in cross-cultural relations, and in establishing understanding between cultures and religions. She wishes to use my ultimate passion for the media and presenting in connecting to different people around the world, to inspire, and get inspired.

Dr. Mariam Matar

Dr. Mariam Matar is the Chairman & Founder of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association, launched in 2006, which has achieved many outstanding successes under her leadership and she is the Deputy Chairperson of Dubai Cares, which works to improve children's access to quality primary education in developing countries. In her achievements for the Year 2012, Dr. Maryam Matar was renowned by the Arabian Business magazine at the 83rd amongst 100 most powerful Arab women in 2012. She has been ranked first in the UAE and fourth in the Arab world in Sciences and Research category. Her abilities have also honored her to be a Board Member of the Global Strategic Initiative on Advanced Radiation Medical Science, Vienna/Austria (NGO GSI-ARMS). Dr. Maryam was selected by the Arab League's Scientific and Humanitarian Development Program of the Arab Women Organization (AWO) as ambassador of Goodwill for Women and Children for 2012-2012 in the Arab world, by Arab League's Scientific and Humanitarian Development Program.

Hazem Mahdy

Born and raised in the U.A.E of Egyptian origins. Graduated from the American University in Dubai with a Bachelors degree in Fine Art Photography. He lives and works across the U.A.E as a commercial photographer and as an artist in my workspace at home. I’m currently represented by a well-established local based gallery in Dubai known as Carbon 12 gallery, whom exposed my works locally and internationally.

Omar Hindash

Omar was born in Dubai. He is of dual nationality. His father, a Palestinian, and mother a Croatian. Omar lived in Croatia for a few years, and returned back to the UAE. Two years ago Omar was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. He was hospitalized in intensive care for a few days. Diabetes has changed the way Omar lives, but for the better. Omar is very passionate about spreading awareness about diabetes. He keeps seeking for opportunities to become more involved in spreading awareness and information. Omar looks to the future, and hopes that he will be able to become a motivational speaker.

Dr. Gail Hammill

Dr. Hammill teaches classes in English Composition and Literature at AUD. Having spent her secondary school years as a scholarship student at the School of American Ballet, founded by George Balanchine as the training ground for the New York City Ballet, Dr. Hammill was part of the last generation of dancers to be trained during Balanchine’s lifetime and aegis. She has taught classical ballet at some of the most eminent dance schools in the United States including Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School and The New Jersey School of Ballet. Dr. Hammill, her husband Jim, and their two sons, John and William, have been enjoy, learning, and socializing in Dubai.

Dr. Haitham Solh

Dr. Solh is a dedicated educator with a passion for making the world a better place. His work bridges education, technology, and philosophy. He has presented his work in a book, journal articles, and conference proceedings, and is always on the look for ways to improve and motivate his students.

Saif Al-Naji

Saif is a full-time Journalism student at the American University in Dubai, U.A.E, and a freelance presenter on Radio1. Prior to becoming a radio presenter, as a ten-year-old schoolboy, teachers regularly asked Saif to read passages of text during class as he had a perfect voice for presenting. A while later, when he was 14, he started his DJ'ing career after he saw an elderly DJ playing at a Christmas party he attended with his family and told his mum that is what he wanted to do as a career which he later managed to achieve.

Sophie Boutros

Sophie worked for 11 years as a TV and Film Director before joining the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at AUD. She started her career in the television field, working on entertainment, economic and talk shows among others. Later in her career, Sophie explored the world of film by directing a set of music videos for a-list Arab singers; in addition, Sophie directed several TV commercials. She speaks, writes and reads English, French and Arabic fluently. Sophie enjoys movies, traveling and reading.

Mohammed Abualqumssan

He is a graphic designer. Of Palestinian decent and traditional upbringing, his themes consist of works that depict trying times and troubled souls. The accessibility of his work is based around a slight hint of humor that portrays a contrast between sarcasm and severity of the themes.

Elias Sabella

Elias Sabella is the founder of Dubai’s very own Alternative Rock band “The Flaming Trees”. The youngest band in Dubai to achieve such success. As a bandleader, lead vocalist, Guitarist and composer, Elias has been able develop his career in music through “DIY”. His band has played with many local and international talents including 30 seconds to mars and Wyclef Jean. They were also nominated to be best band in 2010 by Ahlan! Magazine. Having this experience has allowed Elias to set up local events for new talents in the region.

Dima Khatib

Syrian-Palestinian journalist and blogger. She was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. She speaks Arabic, French, English and Spanish fluently in addition to Italian, German, Portuguese and Chinese but less fluently. She established Al Jazeera's bureau in Venezuela, becoming its Latin America Bureau Chief. She is the first Arab reporter to be based in Latin America reporting to the Arab World, also the only female bureau chief in Al Jazeera (Arabic) Channel. She has interviewed several heads of states such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (several times), Bolivia's Evo Morales, Brazil's Lula da Silva, Ecuador's Rafael Correa. She writes regularly in several languages in her own blog: and updates her Twitter account @dima_khatib daily with news and commentary.

Dania Moussa

Dania is a sophomore student at His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication at the American University in Dubai. She studies Digital Production and Storytelling. She won many awards including Sheika Latifa Bint Mohammad award for classical Arabic poetry and the Ministry of Culture and Youth Award for the Best Story Book which will be printed and published soon.

Organizing team


Isa Town, Bahrain
  • Sara AlBoom
    Vice Head
  • Fadi Kfoury
    Website Founder
  • Jafer Almadhoon
    Graphic Designer
  • Professor Brad Moody
  • Alia Karim
  • Maria Alvarado
  • Rana Abdelmoti Mohamed
  • Firas Hijjawi
  • Duha Abbas
    Public and Guests Relations