Mind The Gap



YES, it's finally this time of the year. Some people wait for an annual festival, some people wait for a movie or a concert, but for me, it's always TEDxGUC. Year after year they tend to impress me more and more with the depth they take their concept to. Year after year the overall experience becomes more enriching.

These days I am preparing to hold my TEDxAlmotamayez event April 2020, part of the reasons I got to deiced that I want to do this was TEDxGUC, the value they add to me makes me envious that I want to have an impact on someone just as much as TEDxGUC have and impact on me. It's a great challenge when your role model is as great as TEDxGUC, you guys rain the expectation of everyone for any TEDx event in Egypt, I hope I can come close to where you are.


Photo credit: TEDxGUC

With the theme dedicated to the concept of GAPS, its 1st fit to define the literal word. Gaps by definition are “spaces or interval; a break in continuity.”. So a gap is any space between two masses. But who said a mass should be physical? There is cultural Gap between the ancient Egyptians and the modern world, there are knowledge gaps which are missing pieces of information. Gaps, since we were babies, are always something we feel we need to fill. as a baby, a power socket is a gap you feel needs to be filled with your finger, as a child a missing puzzle is a gap that needs to be filled. As a teacher, there are gaps in the minds of students that need to be filled. But some gaps are needed some gaps are necessary to the peace of mind and for energy flow. For example, as an architect, there a are gaps that need to be created in the walls to allow airflow (windows), as an interior designer there are gaps that need to exist to allow energy flow (less bulk furniture). As an entrepreneur, there is a gap between now products/services and what people need, as an author, there is a gap between reality and fantasy that needs to be written At the end, Gaps is a concept that is very wide and applies to every inch in our lives.

The Return of the Prodigal Son:

There is no doubt that some people are always related to specific events or places. Ever went to a place and said that it's missing a specific person? It's like watching an episode of FRIENDS and not seeing Rachel or Joey, you will like the scene but it would still be missing a critical element. Kareem Helmee is one of those people, I don't know which is branded by the other, but Kareem and TEDxGUC became inseparable, that last year even though the host was a great one, but the event was missing one of its core elements. So I would like to welcome him back, you were missed, my man.

Ok, now before going into details of the event itself I would like to shed the light on few things in the PRE-Event phase.

The online registration process was never easier than this year, neither was the payment process which was made through Payme and Fawry services. TEDxGUC decided to go environmental and instead of printing and sending out tickets and lemonade plastic name tags, they sent digital QR codes that were just scanned by the gates and that's it. This not only was environmentally friendly, but it was easier to just receive a QR code directly by mail instead of waiting for your ticket and the hassle of “where the hell in my ticket”. The entrance and on-gate registration were very smooth and easy, and it didn't take time at all, well organized and super supportive and friendly people ushering you though out the process till you are seated.

The Welcome package:

The welcome package was very simple and basic, a branded pencil, branded booklet, the event guide, a branded sticker, and a checklist which I will talk about in a short while, and a wristband. All those very practical items were in a paper envelop which again emphasis the Environmental friendly concept.

GAPS checklist:

The GAPS CHECKLIST was a part of the welcome package, it contained 14 tasks or checkpoint to complete all or the maximum that you can. I was able to finish all the list, and allow me to list them below:

  • Took a selfie. (Done)

  • Made new friend. (Done, Youssef abobakr. who I introduced myself to and asked him for his contact so we could check this point)

  • Took a picture with the silhouette installation. (Done)

  • Shared my contact. (Done with Youssef)

  • Knew my Gap! (Done, one of the talks related to how to raise a healthy child did shed the light on a Gap I had)

  • Filled a Gap. (Done, Dr. Nahla talk, Mustafa el Refai talk, and Shaimaa Ashour talk did fill some important Gaps I had)

  • Took Notes. (Done, A LOTTTTTTTTT)

  • Loved a speaker! (Done, Dr. Nahla, Khaled Hafez, Shaimaa Ashour)

  • Disagreed with a speaker. (Done, some of the posts in Maha Azab talk and some of the points of Aliaa Ismail talk I did find myself not agreeing with a lot, yet they were for sure worth listening to)

  • Met old friend. (Done, A LOTTTTTT)

  • Shared a thought. (Done)

  • Laughed out loud. (Done, Always while at TEDxGUC am in the mood for laughing out loud)

  • Felt inspired! (Done, No talk didn't add to me, but in details later for the ones that truly inspired me)

  • Finished the wristband sentence. (Done, I did stop a guy to complete the sentence he had on his wristband with mine and one of my friends. “Absence that makes room for presence” )

It was a great challenge, and I believe this checklist made people more involved with each other and gave them one more reason to enjoy their day at the amazing unique one of a kind TEDxGUC.

Gaps Timeline

The event was divided into 3 Blocks, and I have to say that I like how punctual the timeline was. Each block began with a performance followed by speakers, I will list them below, and will comment on the ones I felt are extraordinary and filled a gap I had. It went as follows

BlueBox/BlackBox: great musicians that started the day by energizing the attendees to start the day fresh and actively. Those were before the 1st block.

Block 1:

Kareem Helmee intro, which for those who are TEDxGUC regulars, is the highlight of the day. It is simply like the opening act in any theater, the cartoon that used to play before the main movie, the energy bar that gives you power, the tuning that sets you in the right mood.

Kareem is not just a host or an entertainer, Kareem became part of TEDxGUC experience. Not only does he sets the mood right, he always has those small lines or acts that just cracks the attendees up, but you can also say he is everyone's favorite person.

Aliaa Ismail:

Scanning on Egyptian tomb; a journey of heritage and technology

The point was that Egyptian tombs are more than just national treasures, they are world treasures, and to preserve them from damages and distractions they came up with the idea of scanning them and creating a duplicate to reduce them being exposed to the public and by so reducing the element of “exhausting them”

Shaimaa Ashour:

How can artistic performances revive Egypt’s dying standalone cinemas

Shaimaa here was looking at a very important point, the old standalone cinemas of Egypt. How such amazing and historical places became obsolete and many of them are abandoned and some even got converted to Parking garages. The talk aim was to point out that the concept of branding like it applies to products, it applies to places and cities. Branding cities usually takes time and effort, and that just like that, those cinemas need to be rebranded for something to preserve them from disappearing and with them part of our history. But, for me it got me thinking for something, why not reintroduce those cinemas again or at least part of them to play again old movies like Gone With The Wind, Pride And Prejudice, and so on? With everything we are going through now, I believe people are becoming nostalgic more and more, and introducing nostalgic cinemas would be a great thing. Also, those places are part of our heritage, and if won't be used again as cinemas, they should be at least considered as touristic landmarks. While I was in Rome I remember that I was fascinated by how many places that are absolutely nothing at all but considered a touristic landmark just because once for a short period of it it was considered or used for something, or just because it was really old.

Maged Maurice Ibraheem:

A deeper look into democracy, does one size fit all?

What is the types of rulings and governing of any place, what defines as a city and what does the word Democracy means? This talk pointed out that not all types of governing systems are fit for every place, each city, each country needs its unique system that fulfills its needs, New-mocracy as he called it, while explaining the kind of governing regime that rules Egypt from the very beginning.


Block 2:

Nadia Shanab:

Nadia was not a speaker, but a lovely performer who mixes the African and wester and Egyptian music to create a lovely fusion.

Khaled Hafez:

The origins of superheroes species

This talk was in a way one of the things that always crossed my mind, not it's content but its concept. Here Khaled was talking about how many of the current superheroes did exist or at least their concept did exist in the ancient Egyptian heritage. For example Anubis Vs Batman, Bast or Bastet Vs Cat woman, Osiris Vs Hulk. For me, I had always wondered and been fascinated by one thing. The GAP the happened between ancient Egypt and now, I am pretty sure that some of our greatest discoveries now were discovered in the past and because of that Gap, that missing chain, we are rediscovering them. In the Talk, Khaled referred to how those old figures got evolved from generation to generation and from culture to culture, starting from Egyptian, greek, to the current western culture.

Mostafa Elrefai:

Visioning the sound

Photo credit: TEDxGUC

Mostafa had been working for 7 years now on something that can only be described as the best cool Ironman gadget ever that not only is cool, but is one of the most benefiting innovations ever. The deaf people of people with hearing impairment face a lot of challenges worldwide, and their numbers are growing more and more. right now 466 million people worldwide suffer from this, and researches show that soon this number will beaver 900 million. What Mustafa is making is a cool gadget, a glasses that look like the VR, but instead of looking at a mobile it has glasses that you can see beyond. So what is the big deal? these glasses or VR is paired with voice recognition that shows subtitle beneath what you are seeing, converting all the sounds the deaf year to text they can read while wearing a cool glasses :) not only that, with a small press button the same deaf person who don't know how to talk simply because he did not learn because he can't hear, can now use it to type what he wants to say in a cool stylish way and it gets converted to sound. I believe when this is finally open for public it would be one of the greatest 21st-century inventions.

Naha Kandil:

Shaping an individual, how to raise a healthy child

By far this is my most favorite talk of the day. Dr. Nahla talked about a huge issue that is hidden in small acts, those small acts can either build or destroy a child and the man/woman they will become. She divided what shapes our children personality into 3 axes, emotional, behavioral and social. She kept talking and talking about simple small things that most of us do, not noticing we are harming or kids and not benefiting them.

How our comments like “why are you always crying” or “no, my kid is different he is always hyperactive” , or even “why did you get bad marks, or we did study this million of times how come you still don't understand”, “am so freaked tired, leave me alone now”, and on and on. Those words go into the mind and form a personality, one that is unsure, that sees itself as a failure. When you tell a crying kid “don’t cry, you are not a baby anymore” you are simply telling them that the best way to deal with problems is to suppress your feelings and hid them. Or when you tell your child that you are tired now and just can't listen to their issues now, you unconsciously created an introverted kid. When your kid says he wants to wear something and you say no I already chose for you, you raid a child that is hesitated, incapable of taking a decision alone. What we say to our kid's matters, and also what we don't say matter. She said that the best way to deal with this is to change phrases like I am tired now leave me alone, to “let me tell you how exhausted my day was” and you tell them, then listen to them, that way they learn that everyone faces some challenges and learn how to channel their emotions.


Block 3:


One of the best performers there ever was, he captured the attendees and recharged them for the last block of the day.

Ashraf Azab:

A disease in disguise

Ashraf from my point of view is one of the most courageous people there ever is. Standing in front of so many people and acknowledging that he used to be a drug addict, and every time he started recovery he falls again, it takes a lot of courage to do so. Ashraf raised a very important question. 1st he defined Addiction with its scientific definition: A chronic disease that can grow, and is fatal, it is incurable but with proper ways, healing can be possible. He then showed that says diabetes have the same definition, and raised his question, Why when we see a diabetic nation we encourage him and support, and when we see a drug addict we avoid and stereotype?

Maha Ibrahim

The effect of neuroscience on architecture and interior design

Energy Matters, and creating energy spaces is one of the basic things there ever is. Some building techniques are used to enhance memory like in some advanced Alzheimer houses in the USA, some colors are used instead of others, some shapes are used instead of others, and some layouts are used instead of others. Neuro-architecture is the next big thing, using neuro-stimulators in architecture to enhance brain activities is a booming thing, and would contribute a lot to society.

At the end of the day, the whole event was amazing, inspiring and motivational and mind-opening as always, and now a Gap filler/creator, introducing the concept of

Absence that makes room for presence.

And now I have 1 last question, who else spotted the unintentional Mickey Mouse Face in the right side background of the stage?
look at the right side of Kareem

Finally, I would like to thank the board that was responsible for such a magical marvelous evening.

Chairman: Ahmed El Kassed

Curator of Talks: Youssef Wael

Coaching Executive: Nour Amin

Production Executive: Mariam El Shalakani

Research Executive: Miral Basem

Curator of HR: Omnia Tareq

Curator of Operation: Omar El Kassed

Product design Executive: Yasmine El Sheeny

Event Management Executive: Roaa Ashraf

Curator of Marketing: Omar Al Dahrawy

Graphic design Executive: Seba Hazem

Partnership Executive: Youssef Khaled

Campaigns and Copywriting Executive: Hadeer Hossam

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