Tehran’s own TEDx event gives the city a rare reprieve from isolation

TEHRAN – On Thursday, Iran hosted its first TEDx event, the locally organized version of the popular speakers’ series. TEDxTehran, which was held at Amir Kabir University, was a unique occurrence in this city.

While the speakers and attendees stayed within all the rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic, the general consensus was that the most important thing was that such an event, intended to share new ideas and broaden horizons, was allowed to take place here at all.

The attendees were mostly Iranian, but a surprising number were Iranians living abroad, some of whom had come to town just to attend the event. And quite a few of those were  Iranian-Americans.

One of the best talks had to be the first one, by award-winning cartoonist and animation artist Bahram Azimi, who gave a lively and funny personal history that included a slideshow full of twists and turns. His closing message could not have been more appropriate to the audience: Go for your hopes and dreams, but make those goals realistic and attainable.

In all, it was a good first effort, leaving hope for more chances for Iranians to connect with the larger world.

Could it be improved upon? Certainly, but that it happened at all is what matters.

By The Washington Post

 

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