TEDx speaker killed in bombing

Posted by: Tedstaff


Yesterday, two bomb blasts ripped through a snooker hall in the town of Quetta in Pakistan, killing 81 people.  We were very saddened to hear that TEDx speaker Irfan Ali, who spoke briefly at TEDxRawalLake just weeks ago, was among those killed.

The organizers of the event shared their sadness with us, through Facebook.

“Irfan Ali was a famous activist who, in his own words, was born to fight for human rights and peace. He said his religion is respect and love for all the religions,” they write. “At TEDxRawalLake, we gave our audience a chance to give their idea on the stage. People came up and gave their ideas, one by one. I saw Irfan Ali noting something, but he didn’t get up right away. We took a break and he came up to the curator and said, ‘I missed it. I would like three minutes.’ The curator said, ‘Okay.’ He spoke after the break and said something which we see daily but don’t notice — he pointed out the issue of taking things for granted in the name of ‘kun k yeh Pakistan hai.’ He ended his speech very passionately. There was something special in his talk — maybe it was honesty. The way he said everything it was just so nice.”

They continue, “No one had in mind that this man on stage will be no more in the next 20 days, He went quietly but left a silent message in his own words: ‘Mere shehr main meri nasal lootne walon, Pata hai beta kis trah jawan hota hai.’ We will miss you, Irfan Ali. God Bless you”

Read more about Irfan Ali on AlJazeera.com. And after the jump, watch his powerful comments from TEDxRawalLake. He will truly be missed.

Comments (11)

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Karen Armstrong (I): Of the Silent Choir | Pakistan

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Karen Armstrong (I): Of the Silent Choir | Pak Tea House

  • Pingback: An Open Letter to Karen Armstrong (I): Of the Silent Choir | Hanging Odes

  • Abbas Changezi commented on Jan 17 2013

    For those that wish to know more about Irfan – http://www.hazara.net/news/news2013/irfan_ali_khudi.html

    @ Aimee – rough translation of Irfan’s Urdu pieces
    He is speaking of the dilemma in Pakistani society . Some examples he gave:
    I asked a traffic police: why is the traffic light not working?
    the Police answered: son, this is Pakistan! (meaning, this is how things are, cause it is Pakistan)

    I stood in a bank line for over an hour. Someone in the bank who knew me
    asked, why are you standing in the line?
    I pointed to the written post about standing in line. And he said,
    “this is Pakistan” (meaning, the rule means nothing).

    Someonw was going to take me to the Secretary (a high official); He asked,
    Son, do you have suit/tie? I said, yes, but what does that have to do with
    the wisdom/ideas/knowledge? the guy, said, “son, this is Pakistan”.

    Elites/polic makers in Pakistan thinks that the 40-km or 100km is what is Pakistan (i.e. Islamabad). We will
    make a peace wall around the presidency palace, where people can write on the peace wall.

    His main idea is: Make a Peace Wall around presidential palace (palace, perhaps a sarcastic reference to the president living in a big place far removed from reality). So, anyone
    with creative idea, anyone can come and write their message. So the parliament members
    can come and read messages on the peace wall to “connect” with the ordinary people.

  • koz khosravani commented on Jan 13 2013

    So sad… Rest in peace buddy…

  • Anthony Nuccio commented on Jan 13 2013

    Definitely a sad day for TED. Unfortunately the specter of death claimed Irfan far sooner than he deserved to go. Let this death remind us all that life itself is very precious and can be stripped away by any force, no matter where we are in the world. Namaste.

  • John Moonstroller commented on Jan 12 2013

    This is a reason that people of value should not be hanging around, lightly, in places like Pakistan or the Middle East. Bundle the entire Taliban together and their value would not be half of the worth of this one man. He has done more to change minds in a meaningful way then all the terrorist groups together.

  • Aimee McKinney commented on Jan 12 2013

    I would love to know what Irfan is saying in the video. If anyone is able to translate and post, it would be appreciated.

  • Pingback: TEDx speaker killed in bombing | Electrifying Pakistan | hasanphd | Engineer's Diary

  • commented on Jan 12 2013

    Reblogged this on Nsalim871's Blog.

  • Pingback: Wizmo Blog » Blog Archive » TEDx speaker killed in bombing