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TEDxDubai - Dubai Abulhoul - 10/10/09

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Our next do you say this? How old do you have to be to start doing things? When do you start? Where do you march ahead with your ideas? Our youngest speaker here at TEDxDubai, Dubai Abulhoul Ok. Dubai Abulhoul, a 9th grader, 13 years old. What in the world can I possibly be doing as a speaker at TEDxDubai? I personally am confused, but don't judge me yet "She's just 13, what can she do?" This is the type of thinking I want to change in people and this is why I'm here To prove to not only you, the audience, but to the entire world that age is, in fact, nothing but a number And if you look at it in a much more logical aspect You'd notice that your age is existing as nothing but mere proof of how many years you have lived on planet earth! And after my perspective, do you still think that age is a fair factor to be judged upon? Certainly not. Ok, so growing up, I've always had this ambition and dream for film-making and animation And my number 1 goal up until this date is to get an Oscar. I want to be the first Arab to ever win an Oscar. Thank you And so this dream, everyone who ever knew me, knew this And so one day, I remember going to my parents And I was like "I want to win an Oscar! I want to be a director!" And obviously they were very supportive, but they told me three things: You need to get an education, you need to have experience, , and obviously you need to grow up. Again with the numbers! I was an obedient child. And I listened to them. I waited for 2 years Till I was about 10 years old. And....yeah, I got fed up, honestly. And, so I went up to my parents - - my brother came up to me one day And he offered me lessons on animation and You know how to just basically do a short animation And from there I did my first 30 second animation. And honestly at that point I felt like I was Queen Of The World or something You know, I did something, I didn't have to wait until after college And so Ok. So, remember the Oscar dream? Yeah. Well, I've always had - as I said I've always wanted to win an Oscar. But one day I was hit by reality and realized that I don't have the Oscar-winning idea. You know, and that's a shocker. So I went up to my room one night, and I was just so sick and so tired I wanted an idea! And it just hit me: I had these scene of a skeletal green man And I had no idea what it was, I had no idea what the back-story was, I just knew that if I developed the story from there that I'd get it. And I did: for 2 months, I just kept on writing and writing till I had this 80 page, stack of 80 pages of ideas. And it was titled "Galagolia" - don't get me started on the name! So then, as I kept on writing, my sister one day came up to me And she told me about this Gulf Film Festival And she said that, you know, this film festival, you submit your movies They get screened, you know. It's a chance to meet other directors I was like, "Really?!" you know, "Is there an age limit?" And she was like "I don't know", I was like "Ok forget about the age limit!" "Is there a deadline?" She was like "Yeah, in 12 days" I was like "Hey, I'm going to finish a movie in 12 days!" And she just looked at me blankly, and she was like, "Are you sure you're going - to finish a movie in 12 days?" I was like "Yeah!" And she was like, "But it's impossible". The only response I had for her was "Watch me." You know? So I did, actually I finished a 12 days I finished the script, I finished the animation, the voice, everything. I finished it in 12 days, and sent it off to Media City - without checking the age limit. So... A few months later I got a reply from the Gulf Film Festival that I was accepted - and just for 5 blank seconds, when I read the email, I just...forgot about the Film Festival ...obviously. And, I went there, I showed up. There was this red carpet, and my movie got screened, and it was all these directors, and... I was just happy to be there. And on the closing night, I figured out that I was UAE's youngest ..animating director at the age of 11. And I have no idea who did it, but some newspapers did research - you know, took the subject, and a few weeks later I realized that I was Middle East's youngest animating director Yeah! So obviously, I didn't stop there, I did a new movie A much more longer movie, it's 7 minutes Much longer - first one was 2 and a half! So obviously....and I participated with it in the second Film Festival - Yeah, this was me getting the award Forgot that slide! Yeah, and this was the 2nd Film Festival I still and up to this date own the title ....obviously. Ok, so, second thing: what I tried to portray through my book, through you know, my work and my movies is something I like to call tradition, and what probably most people know as tradition So, it's something valuable to me because growing up I've always read books I'm such a bookworm; and I've always watched movies and All I learn about is American heritage and you know English heritage. And not once have I come across a book or a movie that sort of has this Emarati setting that I can actually relate to. So, through my books and through my movies I portray that. So the message is: We've been learning about you, it's time you learned about us. So obviously I have no idea....where the road takes me. There's obviously no stopping me at this point.....obviously! And it's's about the surprises. I want to get a book out, I want to be - You know, I just want to be the first, you know? I just want to do something! And, till I reach college I would have like a list of There is one thing that I want to say. If there's one thing that I learned from, you know, my past experience is that to get something, you know whatever you want to do, you can do it as long as you believe - believing is the key. And a proof of that is, if you look back 2 years, a few years ago Who'd have expected me to, you know Enter Film Festival, do a movie, be here, say a speech actually! You know? And it's all great, honestly. So the key to everything in what you do is believing. Ok, so, summing up I'm just going to tell you a short incident that happened to me not long ago. I have this facebook group where I update my friends and family about my latest work. And so, A girl came up to me one day from my school A girl who I don't really know a lot about came up to me, and she was like, you know, "You're writing a novel?" and I was like "Yeah!" and she was like, "What do you - what plans do you have for it?" I was like "I want to publish it!" you know, "Now! At this age!" and she was like before I walked away - and before I walk away from all you people She said, "But you're 13!" The only response I had for her was "Exactly." "I am 13, and I am going to do it, and no-one can stop me at this point." There is this quote that I want to share with all of you that really has inspired me it's by Abraham Lincoln. He once said: "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Thank you. Thank you, thank you very much.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 24 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Giorgio Ungania
Director: Giorgio Ungania
Views: 182
Posted by: giorgiotedx on Jan 24, 2010

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) Our event is call TEDxDubai, where x=independently organized TED event.

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