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TEDxDubai - Khulood Al Atiyat - 10/10/09

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On page 1053 of the Meriam Webster's dictionary The word "renaissance" is defined as a movemet or period of vigurous artistic and intellectual activity and it is also defined as "rebirth" or "revival" and this is exactly what Unleash was designed to achieve. A while back, a couple of my friends - 4 of them actually and myself - came together and decided that we needed to revive the appreciation of arts the appreciation of creativity and the appreciation of people's original work. And we decided to do this after we noticed that we unfortunately live in a society and in a world that is too focused on materialistic measures. People worry a lot about money they worry a lot making more money, spending more money, and saving more money. A person would try their best to get the job that guarantees them the best salary or go into business ventures that guarantees them the maximum profit possible. And don't get me wrong - I mean money is an amazing thing ofcourse it's always good to have a bit of money on the side, but it shouldn't be people's priority. It shouldn't be your only worry and money is something that comes and goes it doesn't last forever and if anything - I might be the only person here but I'd like to thank the economic crisis for proving us right *applause* money is in fact something that comes and goes and it's people's talents hopes, ambitions is what lasts. So we decided that it's time to make a change, and it's about time to try and make a difference and that's how Unleash was born and if you're wondering how does it work, the concept is really very simple. We have designed and printed 1,000 empty journals each journal consists of ten empty pages with 3 or 4 pages of instructions telling you how to use the journal and what to do with it. Now what happens is that when you receive this journal you select an empty page and you express yourself in any form of creativity you want whether you choose to write something in or draw something or stick a photo it's up to you every single person is talented in his own or her own way. So the options are really endless you could go crazy on a page once you're done you pass on the journal to another person it could be a friend, a family member, a colleague at work even someone down the street really so think of it as "Unleash it forward" just like "Pay it Forward" Now once the ten empty pages are filled out, the last person to contribute has to contact us in order to return the journal back to us. And once we receive all of the journals back or we hope most of them at least um, we're going to select the best entries and the most creative ones outstanding entries and publish them all in one book. Now this book will serve two purposes: Purpose number one is that it will act as an outlet or a showcase of people's talents in the UAE. And purpose number 2 is that it will be a nice way to document the UAE's history document the UAE's history through the period of 2009 and 2010 in a new and creative way now we started receiving some journals back and some entries back through our facebook group and I'd like to share with you some of the results that we have found out so far these are just observations that I'd like to share observation number 1: we noticed that people's entries are usually reflective of the entries before them for example, if I got the journal and I put in something about Dubai or the UAE most probably if the next person receives it will also put something about Dubai, the UAE maybe they will go a bit creative and put in something about Sheikh Mohammed or one of the rulers but it will stay within the borders of Dubai and the UAE now whether you call this imitation whether you call it influence or inspiration I'm not in a position to judge people here the last thing I would want to do is to be judgemental but this is just a mere observation that we got the second observation is that when we started the project we were really really disappointed I mean some of the entries were really bad it was clear that people did not spend 5 minutes on the entry so we thought, "you know what? Dubai and the UAE - it's a hopeless case people are not talented they don't have what it takes to create a renaissance or to revive the appreciation of arts but then, thank God - thankfully *laughter* as time passed the journals started to get better and the entries started to get better and we started to get the good and then after a while we started to be amazed by people's work the work was amazing the journals started going to schools and universities they started going to art galleries people wanted to take part and word of mouth is the best marketing tool friends were telling friends and everyone wanted to take part in the project and what we ended up with was really, the bad, the good and the awesome. another observation that we had was that - we noticed that there were some popular themes starting to pop up reoccurring themes and these themes being philosophy, emotions such as love despair, hatred, we also noticed that religion was one, national identity self-reflection, politics, or as probably Jameel would call it "bolitics" really but we decided that maybe in order to revive this appreciation of arts we came up with a prescription and this prescription is maybe a dose of love an injection of philosophy a couple of pills of food, fashion and religion and a spoonful of politics but be careful with politics we're already in a mess with politics in the world today but this is maybe one of the things and one of the most amazing observations is that we managed to get people closer together we have people coming up to us and asking us, "so Khulood what is the age group, or which group of people are the ones who really are most interested in Unleash and I don't have an answer to that it's everyone we got people from China from Ethiopia, from India from the Philippines, Australia, America the UK, the UAE, all contributing in this one journal regardless of the prejudice the stereotypes and the ugly borders that exist in the world today everyone taking part in the project so what I'd like to conclude by saying is that people have what it takes we are talented and, unfortunately, the reality is that we live in a world where let's say if a child starts scribbling on a wall, he or she would be punished for doing that why not have something like what Mr. Paul was showing us the wall that people would paint on every household has a wall where the kids would go there paint on it with their parents a family canvas, an open canvas and once it's filled out, paint it with white and start all over again people have what it takes but most of the time they are redirected towards the "right" path or the "safer" path what we hope to achieve is to recreate a 21st century renaissance one that would bring the UAE forward and the world forward not through materialistic measures but through the extraordinary creations of its people we're shooting for the stars here hoping to land on the moon maybe and who knows what if it all starts with a journal? thank you. *applause* before before I leave the stage I'd like to ask 3 of my friends who are the co-founders of Unleash to stand up please they're somewhere in the audience and I'd like you to send them an applause please. *applause* thank you

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 24 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Giorgio Ungania
Director: Giorgio Ungania
Views: 133
Posted by: giorgiotedx on Jan 12, 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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