From Joseph Dana
"TED is an international conference platform based on spreading ideas with a focus on (T)echonolgy, (E)nivroment, and (D)esign. Originating in the United States, TED and TEDx (independently organized versions of TED) events have become an internet phenomenon successfully harnessing the power of social media by spreading informative lectures via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. TED is the prime conference platform of the new media age.
Using TED’s structure, Palestinian comedians, writers, filmmakers, musicians, environmental CEO’s and poets came together last Saturday to host the first TEDx event in Palestine. Amidst the celebration of culture under occupation, International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza Movement founder Huwaida Arraf delivered an emotional farewell to slain Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, who was killed two days earlier. The farewell was a harsh reminder of what life and struggle under occupation means for millions of Palestinians and the need for Palestinian unity.
While the event had a clearly political slant, it was not completely bogged down in depressing stories of occupation, control, war and violence. In fact, the atmosphere was jovial, upbeat and celebratory. Mohamad El Dahshan, a writer and blogger in Egypt, shared incredible stories from the Egyptian revolution such as the creative ways people recharged cell phones or computers in Tahiri square during the height of the demonstrations. Rim Al Banna, performed three songs for the late Juliano Mer-Khamis. Alessandro Petti, shared his insight about reorganizing space in the West Bank as settlements are dismantled. Khaled Sabawi explained how he wants to “keep Palestine cool” by harnessing geothermal energy to cool and heat homes. Some speakers like the cartoonist Wael Attili were denied Israeli entry permits to the West Bank and forced to deliver their speeches via video link from Amman or Beirut. Throughout the event comedian and host Jamil Abu Wardeh kept the crowd engaged and laughing. The final speaker of TED X Ramallah, the acclaimed author and architect Suad Amiry, was a perfect end to an exhilarating day."