TEDx Nishtiman: inspiring youth in Kurdistan to overcome life challenges

Two years after obtaining the approval to establish a local event, TEDx Nishtiman was able to attract more than 6000 youth volunteers from all over the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“The dream started with only 5 youths and now it is expanding to give the opportunity to all youth in Kurdistan to change and improve the reality of their region,” said Rawand Hussein, founder of TEDx Nishtiman.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

On 21 July 2018, TEDx Nishtiman held their second annual event under the theme of Ripples. The event was attended by more than 500 people and included eight speakers and some entertainment such as break dancing and musicians.

One of the speakers was Marcello Bonatto, co-founder of RE:CODED, who talked about how he was able to establish his own coding platform when he was thinking about how to improve the lives of the youth and empower them to start their own online businesses and jobs.

Another speaker was Bassima Omar, an entrepreneur who started a successful Green Design company in Iraq to promote the design of environmentally friendly buildings.

All of the speakers focused on how to surpass traditional norms to uncover the needs of people and how helping people in your community can make your own life better. These ideas were complemented by the need to love yourself and stay positive in order to be able to achieve something big.

Solin Baban, a team leader in the volunteering groups said, “As any other young person in Kurdistan, I didn’t know what volunteering meant and how it would help my self development. But after working with TEDx Nishtiman as a volunteer, now I can see that I have learned so many things about marketing, relations, customer care, and management which will definitely help me in my professional life.”

“I was expecting more examples of entrepreneurship that started from zero. But still I was inspired by the event today and it made me rethink about all the plans I had in my head and maybe it’s time to start applying them in reality,” said Bryar Saeed, a newly graduated attendee of TEDx Nishtiman.  

The complete videos of the talks have been shared on TEDxNishtiman’s facebook page.

YMP – 05/09/2018

Photo credit: TMP – Fahim Davatozzakerin. Photo caption: TEDxNishtiman volunteers taking a group photo.

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