On 29th October 2016, the first ever TEDxLahoreWomen talks were held in TNS, Phase V, Lahore. With a rostrum of 8 speakers, the event started at 2:30 pm and ended at 6:15 pm. In a nutshell the event itself was a complete success. Not only was it inspiring, it was a thorough pleasure to sit through the entire event as the speakers took center stage and left the audience completely awestruck and mesmerized with their thoughts and unique ideas.
The night started with Arfa Chaudry and Jannat Sohail performing the most unique and breathtaking rendition of the Pakistan National Anthem on nothing more than a sitar and a Ukulele.
Right after we were introduced to the first speaker of the night, Zainab Chugtai, a lawyer by profession, the curator of BullyProof and currently studying to become a counsellor with the UK accredited Therapy Works. Her talk centered on body shaming where she spoke about the dangers of emotional abuse and the kind of permanent damage it does to a child.
She was followed by another great speaker, the founder of “Women on Wheels” Mr. Salman Sufi. His talk represented one solitary theme – empowering women and making them independent. He ended with a truly inspiring buzz through the audience.
This was followed by Sophia Kasuri, her talk focusing on early childhood development – an organization she developed and runs to ensure healthy and positive child development to for healthy adults.
The last speaker of the first half was very esteemed Dr. Shagufta Feroze. She is the first woman to have ever initiated a clinic in 1988, where she began catering to the needs of 80 patients on a daily basis. Now, a renowned nutritionist, she helps women eliminate obesity and develop a healthy lifestyle for a prolonged and happy life.
The first half ended with a 30 minute networking break where the speakers mingled with and took selfies with the audience. The audience also had a range of food stalls and gift stalls to browse through. They were also handed out juices and cookies to ensure they stay hydrated and well-fed.
The second half began with a rather melodious sufi bang by Sarah Zaman. She performed Baba Bulleh Shah’s kaafi and left the house swaying with her soulful vocals and hypnotizing beat.
She was followed by perhaps the most loved speaker of the night, the standup comedian Faiza Saleem. This first ever female social media performer, initiator of an all-female troop the Auratnaaks and the Khuwatoons, Faiza left the audience in fits ending her inspirational and hilarious talk with a well-deserved standing ovation.
Faiza was followed by Hala Bashir Malik who gave the audience something to think about with an insightful talk about architectural design and its impact on lives of the Lahoris. Her talk truly was food for thought for all.
To the end the night was the beautiful and much loved Mahira Khan. She spoke about cyber bullying sharing with the audience her personal experiences with bullying and her concern for her son. She ended with a plea, asking parents all around to instill compassion in their children.
All in all, TEDxLahoreWomen was nothing short of a success. It left us on a complete high and a desire to attend more of such inspirational, thoughtful and heartwarming talks.