The latest edition of TEDxCairo is slated to be held at the American University in Cairo on Saturday, 12 April, a whole-day event. This year, many impressive speakers from the Egyptian community are lined up, including architect Taher Rakha and writer Rayna Stamboliyska, in addition to a performance by the GUC Music Ensemble.
We contacted one of the organisers, Omar Abhar, for more details on this year’s edition.
Traditionally, the conference is organised by volunteer effort, and this year is no different. “This year, over 70% of the volunteers are relatively new team members who joined the team in the summer of 2013 and have been working on this conference and several other smaller events since. We all have nine to five jobs and our backgrounds vary from corporate employees to professional event organisers to freelancers and entrepreneurs who own their own startups,” Abhar said.
This year, the theme of the conference is “Equilibrium”, and Abhar admits that there is an inclination towards the creative field for the 2014 edition of TEDxCairo. “After our third annual conference, COLLISIONS, in December 2012, we decided to look back on what we were missing. And among a few fields we wanted to pursue speakers from, art was very prominent. We believe artists have a lot to say and share, insights from their experience and their work that are potential ideas worth spreading from Egyptian to Egyptians,” he stated.
We also asked what makes this version different from other events around Egypt. “We are the only [event with a] TEDx licence in Egypt [that is] level two. The acknowledgement from TED, though, means that we are one of the very few TEDx events in the world which have exceeded a certain calibre and are now allowed to produce bigger, more exposed and longer conferences. We are also very proud to be the largest online TEDx community in the world. Among no less than 600 licences, we have a community of 150K+ on social media (and growing). Finally, we have been working towards becoming the hub for Arabic TEDx content in the world. And this year we are getting closer to meeting that target. Well over 25% of our speakers this year are flying in from the US and Europe where they are currently based,” Abhar said.
Abhar and the rest of the organisers are expecting 800-900 live participants, but once the lectures hit the web, thousands will be able to view it on the TEDxCairo page on Facebook and YouTube channel.
The event will take place at Bassily Auditorium at the American University in Cairo in the Fifth Settlement from 9am and until 8pm.