Monday, April 16, 2012

TEDxSummit in Doha: Day 1

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I've landed in Doha, Qatar and there's a ton of interesting stuff going on!

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It's interesting because on the street, you wouldn't think of this as a "war torn" region. Everything here is new or under construction. To think: Only 60 years ago this place didn't even exist.

Women aren't treated as differently here as many claim they are. Often, at least to me, it seems that when American pop culture depicts Muslim women, we're presented with the idea that they're oppressed under the traditional black, face-covering clothing, called an abaya. There's such a rich culture here and from my very limited perspective, the abaya seems more about preserving the purity and preciousness of a woman's skin by covering it. Also, it's damn hot and sandy. I've considered picking up an abaya myself so that I can be easy, breezy and comfortable as this dress is said to be.

TEDxSummit, the reason I am here, is a conference that will be livestreamed an hour from now here: http://blog.ted.com/2012/04/13/video-discover-the-power-of-x-during-tedxsummit-opening-night/

If you're not familiar with TED, the technology, entertainment, and design oriented conference centered around sharing of the world's most progressive and innovative ideas of our time, we have a local version of it here in TEDxCharlotte (which is how I'm over here in the first place).

See you tomorrow for a recap of today's livestream and an update from Sheikh Faisal's private museum and the Camel & Equestrian track!

- @dbirdy

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P.S. - I've asked 20 of the 700 attendees from 90 countries here if they've heard of Charlotte, N.C., and not a single one has heard of us.

P.S.S. - For expanded (annoyingly full of banal but interesting) coverage, tag along with me on YouTube.

After today:
TEDxSummit day 2 - Camels, horses and Sheik Faisal's private museum, oh my!
TEDxSummit day 3 - Finally met someone who knows where Charlotte is!
TEDxSummit day 4 - Museum of Islamic Art, Reggie Watts, Shisha!

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