All we need is a community!

The title is reminiscent of the beautiful TEDxBeirut event organized last year, but as our dear Patsy so generously states, size doesn’t matter. And this blog is in honor of the incredible evenings spent at TEDxSKE. 


On March 19, 2009, a “lone nut” wanted to try something different. She wanted to invite TED to her home in Lebanon. Before the rules, before the licenses, she had a vision, albeit a drunken one. And she went for it. She took the leap and asked her friends to catch her. In the power of asking, the first step was made. That lone nut became a movement, with flocks of followers coming around for more.

This miniature community had to accept its growing pains. With more strangers in their midst, their original setting was being invaded time and time again. And that openness was leading to a higher probability of risk. But, in reality, that openness gave them a way forward, and introduced them to a larger vision.

Today, I was overjoyed to be a part of this community as it celebrated its 4th anniversary. As an intruder, I actually attended TEDxBeirut in 2011 before even learning about its older, wiser, and much more empowering sister. And I’m blessed to have known her.

SKE offers warmth, comfort, and intellectuality, with a quirky sense of fun and games! SKE gives her family a sense of ownership, of design, an ability to impact the community in a huge manner. Rather than getting lost in the crowd, SKE pulls you out of your safe cocoon, and looks on in amazement as you shine.

SKE is a haven for poets, amateur talent, origami, art, visuals, and even…some slight decadence and black humor (nudity, anyone?!). In a space of openness, being politically correct isn’t a central worry. Take the fear away and people can debate in a space of acceptance. What’s the worst that could happen? After all, most fun will be poked at you behind your back, and you’re none the wiser 😉

In the words of our dear Sara (and I paraphrase), we never seem to come to any closure. But that isn’t necessary. Because grey can be just as beautiful!

So let’s “expand this group” and “walk with the dreamers!”

Most words/phrases in this blog post were probably mentioned by someone tonight. I’ve also been inspired by the TED Talks we watched and mentioned, The Art of Asking and How to Start a Movement.  It is a remix of the dialogue, a collaboration of the finest, and I just play the part of the “stealing artist”… Hope you enjoy it! 


About Reine Azzi

An instructor who teaches so many different courses at university! Best way to remain passionately challenged! I'm also the licensee, curator, and host of TEDxLAU which adds so much excitement to my life!
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Lebanon and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to All we need is a community!

  1. Patricia says:

    haha! nice one!

  2. Patsy Z says:

    Thanks Reine for this beautiful post and for the lovely pic. This could not have been done without the support and the craziness of the community! YOU included 🙂

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