The British University in Dubai organises its fourth TEDx Talk event

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) organised its fourth TEDx Talk at the Radisson RED Hotel
in Silicon Oasis with the theme ‘Diversity matters’. Six speakers representing staff and students
discussed various issues surrounding diversity, sharing their personal experiences and unique
perspectives.

Professor Abdullah Alshamsi, BUiD’s Vice Chancellor, welcomed the audience and said, “We are
very proud to organise our fourth TEDxTheBritishUniversityinDubai. We at BUiD believe
strongly in disseminating knowledge and we share the same goals as the TED organisation of
spreading worthy ideas. We hope that through this event we are able to challenge conventional
thinking and inspire change.”

With this fourth event, BUiD continues its commitment to playing a meaningful role by
engaging the local community and wider society with thought provoking ideas.
Our first speaker Ma Althea Retig, student on the BSc Computer Science- AI, talked about
herself as being a Third Culture Kid (TCK). She highlighted the challenge of losing touch with
cultural roots, notably through a language mix-up. In her talk, she encouraged TCKs to nurture
their roots and embrace their unique composition in the diverse garden of life.

In her talk, ‘Unveiling the mosaic of Education’, Dr Nahia Mourad, Assistant Professor at The
Faculty of Engineering and IT, encouraged students to understand their own minds and
potential in order to choose their education and career paths based on their capabilities and
interests, rather than following the crowd or latest trends.

Sara Al-Dbaisi, a student on the Bachelor of Law programme, discussed how the root of gender
discrimination lies within a household, because parents tend to prioritize their son’s well-being
and education over their daughters.

In her talk ‘Why Discrimination Is an Inside Job’, Dr Ashmiza Mohamed Ismail, Associate
Professor at the Faculty of Business and Law, shared her personal quest on how she was
trapped in a state of internalised discrimination and the struggles she went through. She talked
about the power of perspective and reframing thoughts, one that brought her out from the pity
mind-set and allowed her to prevail.

Drawing from her personal experiences as a cross-cultural individual with parents from diverse
backgrounds, our student on the BSc Computer Science- AI, Vanessa Robinson Fernando’s talk ‘Culture Acceptance or Illusion? A Call to Shift Mind-sets’ underscores the challenges faced by
those with multiple cultural identities, such as identity crises and societal pressures to conform.
Professor Christopher Hill, Professor at The Faculty of Education, concluded the event with his
talk ‘Identity: an accident of place or a constructed space?’ Where he talked about our sense of
identity and how it can stem from an attachment to a place, a label we have been given, a
notion of what we should be. Over time, our identity becomes the thing we do, rather than the
person we are. He argued that we need from time to time we should try and step outside of
these constraints and try to change our story.

The British University in Dubai is one of the region’s leading research based universities not only
providing world class education for the past 20 years but also servicing the community through
its commitment to training and research. BUiD is keen to contribute to the knowledge-based
economy of the UAE and by organising events like TEDx, BUiD highlights the importance of
sharing ideas and knowledge.

The British University in Dubai

Block 11, 1st and 2nd floor, Dubai International Academic City PO Box 345015, Dubai, UAE

Tel: +971 4 279 1400

Whatsapp: +971507012843

Email: [email protected]