Meet the speaker who collected every idiom sticker at TEDSummit

Kristin and Bahia 2
TED Translators Director Kristin Windbigler with Bahia Shehab at TEDSummit 2016. Photo: Kier Atherton

TED speaker and Fellow Bahia Shehab has been crowned champion of the international idiom sticker project at TEDSummit 2016. (Watch her talk on using street art to reject violence and disempowerment in 2011 Cairo.) As Head of Design at the American University in Cairo, she fell in love with the idiom-inspired illustrations created by London artist Masahito Leo Takeuchi. Shehab called the idiom booklet given to every attendee her “hunting map,” and she used it to seek out all 43 stickers. “We hoped people would want to collect the stickers, but there are so many, we weren’t sure it would be possible to gather all of them in just a few days,” said TED Translators Director Kristin Windbigler. Shehab laughs, “That’s what I do. I make the impossible possible.”

When she arrived at TEDSummit, Shehab collected her first sticker from Hungarian TED Translator Csaba Lóki. Malayalam TED Translator Netha Hussain held the final sticker Shehab was missing. Shehab was so excited when she found Hussain, she hugged her. Shehab reflected, “I think I know all the translators now. It’s a community I love — they’re doing a great job for TED.” As a summer project, Shehab plans to study the meanings of these illustrated idioms with her daughters in Egypt. So just how did she manage to gather every sticker from 43 translators in less than four days? “I will reveal a secret,” says Shehab. “I bribed them with sweets.”

6 thoughts on “Meet the speaker who collected every idiom sticker at TEDSummit

  1. Not exactly on the plane since I didn’t have them at that time. 🙂 But basically, yes, the first was mine. Bahia is great!! Glad to know her!

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