Anwar Dafa-Alla is a true TEDx Rock Star. As volunteer translator and founder of TEDxKhartoum, he truly has experienced the power of TED. Anwar is one of the most productive volunteers in TED’s Open Translation Project. Indeed, he has translated over 1000 talks into Arabic. He likes translating because it opens up all the ideas shared by TED speakers for the Arabic-speaking world. And sharing is caring, he says.
Anwar was first introduced to TEDx three years ago in South Korea, where he was studying for a PhD in computer science and living for seven years. A friend had invited him for the after party of TEDxSeoul and he loved the TEDx community straightaway: “you find intellectual people who aren’t only speaking and talking. They are also doing stuff on the ground. They are action-oriented at the same time.” Then, Anwar felt an urge to create such a vibrant community in his home country. In 2010 he applied for a license for TEDxKhartoum – and the first event took place in Khartoum one year later with the theme ‘Who We Are’. Three events and four simulcasts followed in two years. It was a dream come true: “it was impossible for a lot of people to hear about Sudan, anything else but Darfur and the crisis, and the war. All of sudden we organized TEDx. It was a huge success for us.”