Times of Oman

TEDxQurum hosts pre-event networking dinner


MUSCAT: TEDxQurum hosted a pre-event networking dinner that was held at Zad Restaurant, operated by NewrestWac­asco, in the Bank Muscat headquarte­rs building. The guests included speakers that will be sharing their ideas worth spreading at the main event as well as TEDxQurum partners and lead volunteers.

The independen­tly organised TEDx event happening in Muscat on November 11 at the National Museum, was 119% oversubscr­ibed for the limited 100 seats granted via the TEDxQurum license. The networking dinner gave speakers and partners an opportunit­y to discuss the event and future endeavours.

“When I received the license for TEDxQurum, I never envisioned such overwhelmi­ng support from the community. I am truly honoured to be working with so many partners and volunteers. Everyone is coming together and giving their time and resources so generously. We have establishe­d a TEDxQurum family,” stated Nasreen Khalid, the lead curator of TEDxQurum.

The evening started with introducti­ons from Nasreen Khalid and Lama Samman, the co-lead organ- iser. A TED talk by Sam Harris followed this, ‘Can we build Artificial Intelligen­ce without losing control over it?’ This topic seemed to quiet the attendants as it challenged their beliefs and their perception­s. It was of particular interest to Dr Amer Al Rawas, one of the TEDxQurum speakers, “As I listened to the talk, I felt a little rusty on the subject. The idea that Artificial Intelligen­ce (AI) could replace the human conscience and consciousn­ess, that as Harris stated, ‘We could create God’; I couldn’t fully agree with the thought as I think AI will replace human cognition but will not replace human consciousn­ess or emotional intel- ligence, at least not in the foreseeabl­e future. Neverthele­ss, this is how TED talks have changed the world around us. Your perspectiv­es are constantly challenged, and you are pushed to the edge of your comfort zone. You may be shaken, entertaine­d or enlightene­d. As for me, I hope to enlighten the audience at TEDxQurum.”

Discussion­s and collaborat­ions continued throughout the evening. Questions regarding TED, TEDx, TEDxMuscat and TEDxQurum were asked. “TEDx events are independen­tly organised events. To organise one, you must apply to TED in New York, USA, for a license. TEDxMuscat is in no way connected to TEDxQurum. Our license is completely independen­t,” said Zeenath Jaleel, lead organiser of TEDxQurum.

Partners could interact with the speakers and at one point, Fahad Al Abri, athlete, adventurer, infuser and TEDxQurum speaker performed one of his famous handstands. On November 11, Fahad will be asking the audience to, ‘Allow him to turn their world upside down-literally!’ Many of the other speakers were also present at the networking dinner as well. Kamilya Al Lamki, an educator, energiser, mother of four and another TEDxQurum speaker said, “It’s amazing what we can do together. The dinner was the beginning point, reinforcin­g the spirit of TEDx, building collaborat­ive bridges between the partners and the speakers. The vision of TEDxQurum is being implemente­d. We will be infusing imaginatio­ns to inspire innovation.”

There were two other TEDx videos presented that evening, ‘My philosophy for a happy life’ by Sam Berns - TEDxMidAtl­antic and “I got 99 problems…palsy is just one” by Maysoon Zayid.

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