On 30 November a locally organised event called TEDxNicosia was held at the University of Nicosia that featured inspiring speakers from across Cyprus to communicate to participants “ideas worth spreading”. The event was licensed by TED which is a nonprofit organization that began in the mid-eighties in the United States as a conference aiming to bring together professionals from design, technology and entertainment. From there it has grown into a global phenomenon that provides “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” More information about TED can be found at http://www.ted.com/.
At TEDxNicosia there were almost a dozen riveting talks from various speakers about many interesting topics but the one that really stood out was the presentation of Nicos Anastasiou, who has been involved in bi-communal citizen peace building work in Cyprus for 20 years on a volunteer basis. He related to the audience the many different efforts of every day people who have tried to heal there psychological and emotional wounds stemming from the long running conflict in Cyprus. He told of school classmates reunited from across the divide after 20 years, of teens who react compassionately after learning different historical narratives and the opportunities offered by the Cyprus Friendship Programme which brings together young people from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities and their families in an effort for those involved to better understand the human elements of the respective communities instead of just the dominate political themes. Nicos Anastasiou inspired participants to get involved in citizen peace building as a way to contribute something positive to the all the people living in Cyprus.
To learn more about TEDxNicosia please visit their website at http://www.tedxnicosia.com/.