August 26, 2014

A Journey in Time with TEDxLAU

Via Void Spaces

The first time I knew about TED and TEDx, I was very excited and happy to see these kind of events happening in Lebanon. I loved the idea of sharing inspiration and thoughts. This year I got the chance to attend the first TEDx event and it was a TEDxBeirut Salon few months ago. This time TEDxLAU was my first full day event and it was a great experience!

It all started at 10:15 AM with Registration, 30 minutes of networking in the outdoor “social space” set up in a X shape with new, fun and creative activities. Before 11 AM we went into the theater. Let me take a moment to express how Beautiful, Round and Glorious this theater is! It fits the ambiance of the event.

From TEDxLAU Facebook page

Two sessions, 13 speakers, 2 TED videos and one non-TED video, it was an interesting journey, yet I loved and I was impressed by 4 speakers. The theme of the day was Time,  the speakers touched our past, our present and of course our future.

My favorite four speakers were: Anthony Rahayel, Sara El Khatib, Moe Khansa and Cynthya Karam.

The rest of the speakers were great, interesting, funny, and absolutely added something to my thirsty soul. Lots of humor and fun were going around except 3 speakers; I didn’t get what they got to be on that stage and to be a TEDx speaker.

So here is what I learned and enjoyed from the speakers: The first thing is that I learned something new about myself. A question that has been going around in my mind for few several days found its answer: I am a “Multipotentialite”!

A multipotentialite is someone who has many interests and potentials. Someone who is able to love what he does, work passionately in order to do great stuff that are different. Multipotentialite is being multitalented [humbly speaking].


The question came to my mind recently, since I started working on many things in different fields. Those questions of doubt and fear that visit our minds every now and then, to make sure we are on the right track. Not to forget the useless questions people ask: “What that has to do with your major?” – “Is this related to Architecture?” – “How will this benefit your career in Architecture?”

Who said I have to stick to one thing my whole life, or even for a few years? Who said I can’t study Architecture and do a Marketing internship like I am doing now? Should I focus on one thing, or I am able to do many things in the same time? Is it right or am I wasting time? All those questions were answered by Anthony Rahayel. Anthony is a dentist, who started as a photographer. Anthony is now a food blogger, a dentist, a photographer, a lecturer, a father and a husband! (I am not sure if I forgot something!)

SEE! We are able to do whatever we want if we have the passion for it! It doesn’t matter how diverse and unrelated our hobbies and interests might be, they will always find a common ground which is us: our talents, our ability and our dreams!

The second thing I learned was “four lessons” from Sara El Khatib. That speech was the most heart-touching and the most inspiring of the day. That speech showed the beauty of human power and the ability to overcome any obstacles.

Sara is a cancer fighter, she shared with the audience four lessons she learned while battling cancer. Sara’s words inspired many yesterday, and her messages were very clear: “Do not let your obstacle define you” – “Pain is Inevitable. Suffering is Optional”

“I choose not to be Sara Khatib, the cancer patient and amputee, but to continue being Sara Khatib, the fourth-year pharmacy student who’s clumsy, loves Nutella and happens to have cancer and a missing hand,”

The third speaker was the bravest. Moe Khansa took the stage while showing what came to people’s mind when they first hear “Belly Dancing”

Moe showed us hard and judgmental words on those A4 papers, which after few minutes started to fall from the ceiling flying around the stage, while Moe was turning in circles before he started belly dancing! Yes he did! I loved the scene, it was magical, I saw Moe  swaying around, challenging taboos and confronting those judgments.


Moe showed me courage and fearlessness to do whatever I want, I love and I see appropriate no matter how hard judgments might be.

The fourth speaker was the one I was waiting for the whole day; they knew how to keep me excited till the end. There was no specific lesson to learn but a translation of my thoughts and beliefs.Cynthya Karam shared three stories, three magical moments she experienced with people in her life. At the end of her third story about a girl who had cancer, she visited 10 years ago, when she was in Star Academy, she told us how the girl called Rasha, was unable to move, tired and sick. She told us how she talked and sang to her, how she told her to fight! We heard those words coming out accompanied by tears falling from her eyes, until she switched to a big smile to welcome Rasha who showed up from the audience side with a red balloon. Rasha fought, Rasha was there with us after 10 years, looking flawless and bright-full!


One magical moment turned Rasha into a fighter. It can happen with us too, aren’t we all fighters?

Cynthya ended her talk by calling us for action to color our lives, to fight, to glow our hearts no matter how dark our days might be! And I couldn’t agree more!

“Let us color the world with magical moments … Even though my heart is black, I can make it glow in the dark.”

At the end of the day, we had to gather in front of the big black wall “the Let X Go” wall. X was determined by the audience during the day. We had to threw colorful powder balls to that wall in order to get rid of things that might be stopping us in life. That was fun and messy!

Thank TEDxLAU for a truly inspiring day; I would absolutely come back next year.

I am looking forward for next TEDx events in Beirut.

Next week TEDxHamraStreet has its Salon, don’t forget to check it and TEDxBeirut event is coming soon in the next coming months.

Don’t forget to check TED website for inspiring Talks

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