iSpark’s Traverse: The First High School Students Summit

Earlier this month, specifically on Saturday, November the 5th at the British University in Egypt (BUE), an event -which I believe has been life changing for many young minds- by the name of “Traverse” was organized by “iSpark” hosting about 500 students from international schools including: CMIS, Roots, Choueifat, Narmer American, Elite, Maadi Narmer, EBIS, Hayah and many more.

 

The event started with speeches by Mostafa Hashisha and Ahmad Saeed, iSpark’s cofounders, telling their success stories and emphasizing the role of the youth and the impact they can make on society.

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After that, BUE’s Student Union Vice President gave another speech on how university and all the student activities has helped him develop, and he started involving students in the discussion.

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This was then followed by a musical performance by the very talented 15 year old Kenzy Turky, who started her singing career at 7 years old and kept going on despite the death of both her parents. She kept the audience captivated throughout her performance. You can know more about Kenzy’s story and read more about the speakers and the talents at the event in their individual interviews that will be published through the upcoming week.

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After Kenzy’s performance, the BUE president, Dr. Ahmad Hammad, gave a speech motivating youth and emphasizing their role in building Egypt’s future.

 

Throughout the event, short videos displaying the organizations and their roles were displayed, as well as a booth for each organization being displayed on the campus grounds for students to check and explore during breaks.

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Winners of a talent show that has been held on iSpark’s social media platforms performed on stage intermittently throughout the event. They started off with Aly Ghamrawy and his beautiful performance on the violin, Farida Badredeen and Shahd Youssef singing with their beautiful strong voices, and finally ending with Sara ElSabagh and her melodic performance on the piano. Again, you can know more about them later in the interviews.

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Several inspirational speakers also had very motivational talks to the audience on their success stories and following their passion and dreams. We will also be publishing short interviews with each and every one of them on our Homo sapiens section, so wait for them.

 

The talks started off with Galal Zekry, the Egyptian who cycled 7000 km around Egypt in 150 days. He spoke about the hardships he faced and how he overcame them, the bigger picture, adventure and following your passion regardless of how irrational it may seem.

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The second talk was by the hilarious comedian, Alaa ElSheikh. He spoke about his journey from engineering to comedy, and the media and advertising industry. He encouraged youth to follow their own path and choose a career they’re passionate about and can excel at.

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The third speaker was actually everyone’s favorite, and her talk was the most interactive one, we are talking about the beautiful actress, Amina Khalil. She opened up to the audience and spoke about college and the hardships she faced trying to continue her postgraduate studies in the field she loved and how what seemed as failure then, opened a door of opportunities when she came back to Egypt. She also spoke about how important time management is and persistence in pursuing your passion. What captured the crowd’s heart was when she spoke to girls about being themselves and not changing for anyone, to overcome their insecurities and love themselves the way they are. She then opened room for questions and answered them all from the fun ones to the inspirational.

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The last talk was by the saxophonist, Youssef Khaled Fawzy. He spoke about how taking what might seem like one simple irrational step towards your dream, could actually be a turning point in your life and the beginning of a thread of events that leads to what could be better than anything you ever wished for. He ended his heart-given inspirational talk by a mind blowing musical performance with a crew that accompanied him and a percussionist he met along the way at the event. The performance got the crowd on their feet and left them in awe, craving more for how fascinating it was.

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The closing started with a fascinating musical performance by all the talents: Farida, Ali, Sarah, Shahd, and their coach, Omar Monaem, and ended with a short speech by Mostafa Hashisha, followed by what I believe was the best part of the event; the crowd singing Coldplay’s Sky Full of Stars while holding glow in the dark sticks in the air. It was one truly marvelous unforgettable scene.

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I believe this event might have been life changing and inspiring for many young minds, and that iSpark’s aim to break the educational routine and expose youth to their capabilities is like a glimpse of light at the dark tunnel of Egypt’s educational system.

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To know more about iSaprk, visit their website: http://www.isparkegypt.com/ and like their Facebook page: iSpark Egypt.

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Nada Shahin

Founder and CEO. Mother of the staff. Dentist. Teacher. A heart-driven spontaneous perfectionist (you do the maths). Passionate about writing. Loves chocolate of all colours and types (no discrimination).

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