Muscat: Oman’s first public TEDx event has been designed to inspire Omani youth to pursue their passions and use their skills to help contribute towards development and nation-building of the Sultanate.
TEDxQurum is an offshoot of the global TED conferences, an abbreviation for Technology, Entertainment, Design, which focus on motivating people through speeches featuring inspirational figures across many fields, including education, innovation, research, science and technology, and politics, among many others.
More than 13 speakers have been roped in to speak at TEDxQurum, which takes place at the National Museum on November 11, across a plethora of topics, all of which will discuss the challenges and issues facing Oman.
“We need something that will really inspire and showcase Oman,” said Lama Samman, co-lead organiser for TEDxQurum. “We wanted to do it in a very interactive way and push Oman and all of its amazing things. The topics selected are really Oman infused; the speakers are either Omanis or Omanis at heart, so it is really about Oman.”
“We’re looking for speakers who can talk about history, about culture, about new technologies, about inspiration that came from old practices, there is such a plethora of information and wealth of topics that when you come away from the event at the end of the day, you are going to have this Oman-infused feeling of inspiration,” she added.
Oman’s first public TEDx event is the brainchild of two South East Asian expats in Oman, Nasreen Khalid and Zeenath Jaleel.
“We’ve been followers of TED talks for a long time now because they are always very inspiring and very moving,” said Khalid, lead curator for TEDxQurum. “Zeenath is from Singapore and I’m Malaysian and TED has been quite a resonant voice in that part of the world. We met in January and decided to bring TED to Muscat in a big way and I decided to put in the application.”
With the event fast approaching, TEDxQurum’s core team is on the lookout for volunteers to assist them in the build-up to and during the event.
“We’re always looking for people to volunteer, we’re always looking for people to join us,” said Samman. “Because all of the people involved with TEDxQurum are volunteers, they bring such a diverse set of experiences and skills, which are very useful to us. It’s open to everyone, and we are looking at the skills that these volunteers have.”
“Since TED is a not-for-profit initiative, it inspires communities to get together and we had some young Omanis, who were interested in volunteering with us,” said Jaleel, who serves as TEDxQurum’s chief organiser. “We are also looking to find talented Omanis who will be speaking at our event.”
Samman also encouraged all residents in Oman to register for TEDxQurum. Registrations for the event open on September 15, and those interested can sign up on www.tedxqurum.com. Spots are limited though, so registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for interested speakers is currently open.
“The youth today have a certain vision of Oman that is brought to them through social media, but we are trying to reconnect people to all the parts of Oman they have not thought about, and give them inspiration in different areas,” Samman explained.