Pakistan: TEDx Karachi Inspires Pakistanis

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDx Karachi is the second such event in Pakistan which was held on the May 27, 2011 in the port city Karachi. The event was organized by TED Senior Fellow 2011 and Global Voices Advocacy author Awab Alvi, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and others.

Anushka Jatoi informs at the Express Tribune Blog:

The line-up for the event this time around includes Sarmad Tariq, Mukhtaran Mai, Raja Sabri Khan, Fasi Zaka, Dr Quratulain Bakhteari and Imran Khan. The theme for this year’s event, which is ‘Making the Impossible Possible,’ aims to inspire and motivate the audience through talks by people who have, in their lives, made the impossible possible.

TEDx Karachi

Image courtesy TEDxKarachi

This year the event received much criticism from the people of Karachi because of inclusion of Tehreek-e-Insaf party Chairman Imran Khan as a speaker. Anushka comments about those who criticized the event:

I find it completely ridiculous that people who do not make any effort themselves are the first to criticise. Pakistan is where it is today, exactly because of this attitude. People just sit and talk and do nothing and belittle the efforts of those who do. We should instead appreciate these things and encourage others to organise more events such as this one.

The whole TEDxKarachi 2011 event was live streamed. This year's event has also launched a global art project titled ‘Inside Out’ in Karachi. According to TEDxKarachi:

7 photographers from Karachi have created works for the Inside Out project founded by TED Prize winner and renowned photographer JR to call attention to the issue of discrimination against minority communities in Pakistan.

Salma Navaid Jafri posts her quick thoughts on the event in a Facebook note soon after it ended:

It’s interesting how each person arrived at TEDxKarachi with a unique set of expectations. I believe, though, that the event surpassed most people's expectations – the stories told today were powerful, sometimes evocative and in general very optimistic and inspiring. Dr. Awab Alvi, Sharmeen Chinoy and everyone involved in the TEDxKarachi team pulled off an outstanding event in the true spirit of TED.

For me, personally, the talks got better as time went by; each speaker seemed to be warming up to the audience more easily and sharing their story. Each speaker had his or her “moments” – those instances within the monologue when they allowed the audience to connect with them, share a laugh, shed a tear, or nod in agreement. And the audience was spectacular – giving standing ovations to two deserving speakers and applauding each speaker during all the right moments within the stories.

TEDx Karachi 2011 released the first pictures of the event here. Please do take a look.

Here are some reactions from Twitter:

@smkhan: CONGRATS to all #TEDxKarachi Team on such an Inspirational Session… :) it will be a session well remembered… :)

@MeherBanoQ: #TEDxKarachi was more than inspirational. An idea really can change the world. Hope floats so dont let it sink. Lets be the change #Pakistan

@jehan_ara: It was funny to see all the girls giggling and lining up to have photos taken with “heartthrob” Imran Khan #TEDxKarachi :)

@rizwanrkhan: #TEDxKarachi today made me feel no matter what is happening whatever hurdles stand in our way we matter and can make a difference #Pakistan

Please check TEDx Karachi's Twitter account for more rundown on the event.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.