Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, Cross-border
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Best of 2014: Top 5 TED Talks from the Middle East

It is no coincidence that the year´s most powerful TED talks from the Middle East are led by women. From the courage of confronting community stereotypes to the strength of bringing a lost river back to life, these five women embody the face of determination in an ever evolving region.

1) Eman Mohamed: The courage to tell a hidden story. In a talk that is likely to drive compassion, tears, and surprise, Gaza’s first female photojournalist tells how she defeated gender norms and took advantage of her position as a woman to uncover stories that were overlooked by her male counterparts. A story of courage, talent and determination not to miss.  

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Eobo04R7-Y]

2) Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems. Palsy is just one. An actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled, Maysoon Zayid finds nothing off-limits. “If you want to achieve your life and dreams, you can’t just do one thing, you’ve got to work every angle,” she said in an interview with BarakaBits.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buRLc2eWGPQ]

3) Suzanne Talhouk: Don’t kill your language. In a beautifully genuine call to culture preservation, Talhouk narrates how an ancient, rich language is losing importance for the sake of “looking modern”. “It’s often said that if you want to kill a nation, the only way to kill a nation, is to kill its language,” she says in this thought-provoking talk.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNOiwgrZbPE]

4) Karima Bennoune: When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism. Bennoune shares four powerful, counter-stereotypical stories of people with Muslim heritage who struggle against fundamentalism within their communities, but don´t make headlines.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK74vhqzeeQ]

5) Aziza Chaouni: How I brought a river, and my city, back to life. A TED Fellow and ecoturism advocate, Aziza Chaouni recounts her 20 year effort to bring the Fez river, once considered the soul of Morocco’s fascinating city, back to life.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4UFlldZuKk]

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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