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TEDxDubai - Qais Sedki - 10/10/09

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How do you take what's happened in the past, link it with what's happening now And borrow from other cultures to get that message to work? Our next TEDx speaker is Qais Sedki Bism'Allah Al Rahman Al Rahim Assallamualaikum everyone I actually have a crazy amount of material to get through in 8 minutes And so I'm not going to delay, I'm going to dive straight in The agenda of things I wish to achieve in 8 minutes Not talk about, not discuss, but actually achieve in 8 minutes. End world hunger, achieve ever-lasting peace, eradicate poverty, make the world a better place, And to top it all off: find the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Thank you. However, there's a slight problem: I can't do this! I need 8 lifetimes to do this, not 8 minutes So, I'm going to have to fall back onto my backup plan And that is: to pass on the mic to the next speaker. I'm kidding of course, there has to be a catch, obviously. And thankfully, there is. Let's take another look at this agenda: Well first of all, we have 20% of this agenda not just do-able, - done! I'm talking about this last one: Finding the answer to life, the universe, and everything. And I actually have the answer on the back of this slide And before I show it to you, something tells me, you know, You're a smart crowd, I'm sure someone out there knows it - So let's put that theory to the test I'll open it up to you TEDxsters: if you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything Please shout it out now Yes indeed! I told you! And for those you scratching their heads wondering how on earth The answer to life, the universe and everything is 42 Once the event is over, just ask those who answered, they'll give you a wonderful answer. So,meanwhile, I need to get back to this sticky agenda. What we have here is four remaining points And I'd like to say something about the first 3 Those first 3 points are absolute in nature And what I mean by this - if we take a look at the first one, for example, End world hunger - what do we need to do for that? Well, there has to be not a single hungry soul, anywhere on the planet. Achieving ever-lasting peace? No wars, any point in time, anywhere in the world. Eradicating poverty? No-one living below the poverty line, period. But that fourth point...see that's different. That's not absolute. That's actually relative. So we're talking about making the world a BETTER place. And that's distinctly different than making it the BEST place possible. All we're talking about here, is just making it slightly better in the future, than it was a few moments ago And that's a lot easier to achieve than most people think Actually, I think it's so easy that all you need to do is just one simple thing. So my one step to a better world is actually my idea worth spreading And I honestly believe this: all that we need to do is to simply put our interests to good work. And I want to take a moment here just to talk a bit about my own personal experience. About 5 years ago, I had somewhat of an awakening When I suddenly realized that the years I spent studying Information Technology And the years I spent working in that field Well, it was a sad conclusion but it was time spent doing something that was maybe practical, but not necessarily something that I was very passionate about And so, it sent me on this mission to try to find what it is that I'm actually passionate about And what I did, is I sat down With a pen, and a paper And I let the floodgates open. I started writing every single thing I could think of Stuff I was fascinated in, interested in, pastimes, hobbies, you name it I just started listing them out And once I was done, I thought, "Ok, now what?" What I did, was I took two things off that list. Not one. I chose two things And I decided that I was going to try to creatively mesh them together Into some solution - and here's the catch - - that addresses a challenge. So basically I was trying to do stuff that I would think is cool and fun and enjoyable, even if I was doing it for any reason, and then try to apply that towards something that others would benefit from The two things I chose from my list were love of reading, and an interest in all things Japanese. I love Japanese culture! And so, the problem I'm trying to face is a perceived lack of interest in reading amongst the youth in the Middle East. I think it's very important to actually put a concerted effort behind this Reading is not the kind of thing that people pick up without you trying to motivate them to do it You don't find kids who just, you know, realize all of a sudden that, "I want to be reading!" They'd much rather be playing video games, watching TV, comes naturally, it's a much easier past-time. And so the solution, in my case, was to set up an independent publishing house To focus on on our own original content Graphic novels, in classical Arabic, because it's sorely needed I think it's very essential to focus on our mother tongue And, the Japanese part comes by following the manga format So I set up the company, wrote the first volume It's been printed, it's actually out on the shelves, and it's doing wonderfully I mean there's a lot of media interest A lot of the fans really like it And so this is kind of the experience I had I want to share another thing with you I was watching this video biography of this individual's life And this one part really stuck out There was this part where a mathematics teacher Was talking about how she was trying to guide This individual towards a career in mathematics Because, and I quote, "That's where the money is", end quote. I actually have a photo of this individual, you might recognize this guy He is indeed, Michael Jordan And I think in retrospect, probably the greatest thing he ever did was to totally ignore his teacher's advice. By following his passion, what Michael Jordan was able to do was continue doing the thing that he - actually, if he had to, he'd even pay people to play basketball He's been an inspiration. He's done what no other basketball player has been able to achieve. He's done so and shown great sportsmanship, He's been an inspiration to people who have followed his every step of his career And, surprise surprise, he makes a lot more than any mathematician I know So, this is just one example, and it's by pure coincidence I mean, that 2 people whose work has directly influenced me and inspired me Have already spoken here, on this stage. Dr Naif Al Mutawa, and my friend Mohammed Saeed Hareb. What I want to say is that we should look around us for inspiration People will inspire us. But don't forget to look inwards for your passion. It lies within you. It's not for me to tell anybody else what to be passionate about It's your decision So let's go back to that sticky agenda And I think we've kind of laid out a structure for how to mark that fourth one as done The first three..... The first three are actually really tough I mean no-one up to this point in time can lay a claim to those But what I'm trying to say Is that if we focus on the fourth one, if we focus on doing our part, Then maybe sometime in the future, someone will be able to stand up here And mark those three as done. I think that's not bad for 8 minutes, to be honest I'd like to take some time here to just say what is it That I'd like you to take away from this TED talk Once the event is over, I want you to ask yourselves What is it that you plan to do with your 8 minutes? What are your interests? You know? What's your list going to look like? What two things might you choose? How can you creatively put them together to solve something that would benefit others? How can you change the world around you? It's really easy. It's not that difficult. And the last thing I want to say is Something my mother keeps reminding me of My mother always tells me, "The day we stop dreaming, is the day we die." Alright, granted, we don't really die But, I wonder. I mean, are we really living? If we're living our lives without dreams? Without passion? I don't think so. I think it's very important to dream. Not only that, dream - and dream LARGE. Don't sell yourself short on dreams Dream as big a dream as you can And don't stop there You need an action plan. You need to think about what kind of steps you can take towards realizing these dreams. So after - and I think it's only then, that you can truly be the best person you can possibly be. Dream, do, be. Thank you for listening. Thank you, thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 22 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Giorgio Ungania
Director: Giorgio Ungania
Views: 125
Posted by: giorgiotedx on Jan 25, 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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