A first for his team, TEDxRawalLake organizer Salman Saeed was overwhelmed by the success of his recent salon event. He praised attendees for their passion, interest, and inquisitiveness, and for their dedication to pursuing Ideas Worth Spreading in Pakistan.

Shereen El-Feki’s TEDTalk, “HIV — how to fight an epidemic of bad laws,” was shown, and, immediately, discussion was sparked.

"Great controversies arose among the audience," said Salman. "By the end of the talk, [people were asking], if a person [can be] deported from a county on the basis that the disease would not spread after deporting the person, what if it happened in our own country, Pakistan? Could the spreading of AIDS stop by this solution?”

Soon, an interest in HIV and AIDS education was inspired, and “any reasons were discussed that proved that AIDS can’t be spread by living with the person,” Salman reported. “People living together in jails; students studying in universities; office colleagues; workers in factories.”

"[HIV spreading] precaution measures were also discussed," said Salman, "especially [from the] Islamic point of view—[asking] why Islam doesn’t allow certain acts that can lead into spreading incurable diseases."

"The main purpose of the discussion was to turn the idea into action," he said, “and we were successful in achieving it. The idea worth spreading that was shared by the end of discussion was that a conference should be held where great Islamic scholars would be called to discuss the issues regarding unwanted acts in Islam and the reasons of why they are not accepted in order to spread awareness. This was the beauty of ideas worth spreading.”

The TEDxRawalLakeSalon audience was also treated to a performance from Usman Riaz, filmed during TEDGlobal 2012, and the TEDxRawalLake team informed interested TEDx’ers that he is slated to perform at the next TEDxRawalLake event.

During registration, attendees were given cards that read, “x is coming to Islamabad,” and were asked to write an “Idea Worth Spreading” on their card. At the end of the event, Salman said, “the best 4 ideas among all were selected and [those chosen] were called upon the stage to discuss those ideas with the audience,” furthering the discussion of ideas important to the Islamabad and Pakistani community.

After the event, TEDxRawalLakeSalon hosted a discussion and networking session, where inspired TEDx’ers were invited to talk, make connections and digest both refreshments and new ideas.

Submitted by Salman Saeed, TEDxRawalLake organizer.

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