My #TEDxNishtiman experience

Hello loyal reader!!

If you haven’t followed #TEDxNishtiman recently then you’ve been on a different planet (or in one of those social media/ technology detox phases). I was behind the stage, changing last minute scripts and program plans with Mustafa when I saw Azad Mohammad sitting silently, trying to peek to the audience. I couldn’t help get myself out of the chaos for a few words.

“Sazan Khan, I have done so many things in my life, I have spoken to so many people, but I have never been as nervous as I am right now,” At this stage he had two speakers ahead of him.


We exchanged a few words and jokes. I went off, he remained. The next speaker was on stage, he came to me, “How about if I start like this: ………..”

“Why don’t you start saying that you’re a farmer?”

“They know I am a farmer,”

“Why don’t you just be yourself, say what you remember from everything that you’ve practiced and that’s it,” Suggested Lazha.

“The Deputy Prime Minister is there,” He replied nervously, his head peeking through the curtains.

“Yes, he is there, but if you’re yourself it doesn’t matter who is listening,”

Azad Mohammad, a farmer from Halabja, was called on stage for a TEDx talk. He spoke a few sentences and the audience applauded him, another few sentences and another applaud. Of course, he didn’t entirely follow his original script, but the talk ended in a standing ovation. He bowed, raised his arms, gave waves, with a triumphant smile.

“I could have spoken for three hours,” He said as soon as he was back stage.

We laughed: “Glad you didn’t Kak Azad,”

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In celebration Kak Azad opened a bottle of pomegranate juice from the pomegranates he grows in his farm. I only got about four table spoons in a paper cup, it was the best juice I have had in my life (maybe it was because I hadn’t eaten anything all day,). But the point I am trying to make here is, an event as such, organized entirely by young people, can result in life changing circumstances  and make people’s dreams come true.

Someone out there may hear Kak Azad, and great opportunities can come for him. So many young girls wanted to approach Lena Kay because they found they relate to her., likewise for Ravan and many others who spoke. The event was inspirational.

It means a lot for me to know it was the youth of Kurdistan who put together TEDxNishtiman (of course with the infinite support of lots of organizations, companies and many sponsors). RUDAW’a media coverage made it all the more significant.

I already look forward to the events to come, and the individuals who will speak on the TEDxNishtiman stage in the years to come… it is about time we provided a platform for the people of success, those who have confronted challenges to share their stories and of course, to spread their ideas. Because the ideas of Kurdistan, are indeed, worth spreading!

Concerned is the word here, (Photo: Tabarak)

Lots of love

From My Nest in Kurdistan


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