When Qatari teenager Riham al-Nasr took to the stage at last year’s [email protected], she did something that she never thought possible.
For the first time, the musician showed the live audience members and live stream viewers from around the world her musical talent while speaking about how she had taught herself five instruments and battled to prove to people that music was a worthwhile pursuit.
[email protected] wants others to follow Riham’s example, to talk about their passions to a captive audience, to share their story at this year’s November 17th [email protected] event.
The first opportunity for those thinking of becoming a speaker is a series of open auditions being held by [email protected] to find multiple people to deliver a talk at the main event.
This chance is jazzed up by adding a public voting element to the equation- those auditioning will be filmed, and shortlisted candidates’ videos will be put online to a public vote. In short, it is Qatar’s chance to choose a speaker on stage.
For those thinking of trying out at the auditions, the advice from [email protected]’s co-curator and content manager, Uzair Mohamed, is simple: “There is no theme for the auditions. You can talk about whatever you want to talk about. What gets you up in the morning, what keeps you up at night- a project, a person, an idea? We want to hear you speak. Come tell us a story.”
The [email protected] open auditions are being held on: October 6 from 11am, October 10 from 5pm, and October 13 from 11am.
The auditions will take place at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Education City, in room No.3035 on the third floor. Each speaker will have 10 minutes for their presentation.
“Anyone can audition. It is an open stage, and an open invitation to everyone in Doha,” Mohamed
“We’d like to hear you talk - young professionals, high school students and experienced mentors are all encouraged to audition and speak about whatever they wish, be it an idea, an invention, inspiration or aspiration.
“It might be an intimidating thing to audition, but the rewards are made obvious by stories such as Riham’s, who reaped both acclaims and benefits from her talk.”
Talking about her experiences and how she conquered her fears to take to the stage, Riham, now 17 and studying in Edinburgh, said: “The [email protected] event changed my life last year. I never knew I could be an extrovert with courage to stand on a stage and share what I had not shared with anyone before. Since then, I have met great people who value my music skills. They are proud of me and for that I am grateful.”
The theme of this year’s event is #failbetter and the fear people might be feeling about the thought of auditioning, and the exhilaration they could feel once they do is the embodiment of that idea.
Mohamed said: “This event is designed by youth for youth. Our challenge is to highlight the best of Qatar to the youth of this nation. By involving Qatar in making the final selection of speakers along with us, we hope to provide Qatar, both individually and as a collective.”
Those interested in speaking at [email protected], should e-mail [email protected] to register their interest.