White Helmets: TedxAmsterdam 2016

I was hired by TedxAmsterdam to coach and live translate a speech for Raed El Saleh, the founder and leader of the White Helmets group in Syria.


The theme of this year’s TedxAmsterdam was #NewPower, a large and loose term that pools in a variety of ideas, projects, and movements which offer new perspectives and literally new power to challenge the status quo.

My first responsibility was to help him generate strong talking points and draft them into a compelling speech. Secondly, I coached him on the use of body language, tone, and the number of words and sentence structures to deliver a powerful speech.

During the event, I was also asked do live translation as he delivered his semi-structured speech for the audience.

The White Helmets are a group of about 3000 volunteers distributed  around 120 centers in eight districts in Syria whose mission is to save lives post airstrikes and attacks. They are local search and rescue teams trained to pull people out from under the rubble. Read more about them on their official website and you can follow their live updates on Twitter.

Here is the full video of Raed El Saleh’s talk, translated live by myself:


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