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Great Ideas

Everyone has the potential to be creative and come up with great ideas. We all create everyday, whether we’re at home, work, in the garden or at school. These ideas help us in our daily lives and we often take them for granted because we think they’re small or insignificant. But sometimes we could come up with an idea that is so useful for the market that it can be called an innovation. The problem is that many people are uncomfortable getting their idea out, or too timid to step out of their comfort zones.

An Introvert Inside a Company

I have known colleagues who were either too shy or too ignored by others in their work environment, to action any idea. They prefer to live in their own safe and protected world and have either no interest or to share their ideas with anyone. They don’t want to take a risk by opening up to anyone in organization, even though they could potentially have the next big idea!

Getting Introverts Out of their Comfort Zone


Forget about the normal practice of brainstorming, introverts usually sit somewhere at the rear of the room not ready to participate. Some do not enjoy interaction with groups because they think they will be ridiculed or ignored. Others are quite content to let others bask in the limelight. But for companies it is a shame not to allow the ideation process to be more inclusive to introverts. They can use other methodologies for participation, such as individual ‘brainstorming’ or even introducing idea submission using online tools. This will open it up for everyone to submit ideas anytime any from anywhere. To be successful, the platform has to provide effective support and information and encouragement to those who participate. There should also be easy rules for joining and for leaving.

The Power of the Internet

Outside of the corporate environment a good way to get people to create and innovate, is through challenges, contests and the use of collaborative platforms. The internet has spawned great innovations as many individuals who prefer to work alone participate in crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. With the endless array of resources available online, practically anyone can ideate, create great ideas, prototype and secure funding, whether by working in companies, groups, or by working as an individual from home.

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The flow and flow of spoken word scene in UAE



Mohammed Tariq Anis - Photo by Mahmoud Darwiche

I sat down over coffee with poet and videographer, Mohammed Tariq Anis, to discuss his growth as a performance poet and his passion for capturing UAE’s spoken word scene on camera.

Dorian: How you got involved as a videographer and poet?

Mohammed: I was told from a very young age that I had a knack for expounding upon things and a weird extensive appreciation for details. In plain English, that meant I talked too much, but it also meant that I liked telling stories and that I appreciated how they were told. My involvement in videography began when my dad gifted me his camera; I liked what I filmed. As for poetry, I think, in a manner of speaking, everyone’s a poet. It’s simply a matter of choosing how far you want to be vocal about empathy and how eager you are in refining that.

Dorian: You are UAE-born but draw your lineage from Egypt. How has your Egyptian identity impacted your perspective on life?


Mohammed: This is a bit tricky for me to answer. Egypt is a wealth of unappreciated intellectual and historical heritage that I feel blessed to say that I can relate to, one way or the other. Egyptian teachers, politicians, thinkers, scientists; they’re everywhere. The man who composed the UAE’s national anthem was Mohammed Abdel Wahab, who is a national treasure in Egypt as a musical artist. I’m in love with that, but in a circle of other Egyptians, I tend to stand out as the odd one. I’ve been a very confused sponge for different cultures, Arabic and non-Arabic. You will never be able to tell where I am from, unless I put a great deal of effort in speaking my country’s dialect, and even then, I’d sound weird. I don’t think being an Egyptian has ever influenced my way of thinking, but it has undoubtedly drawn some rather interesting stereotypes and presumptions about me from other people.

Dorian: You were the first videographer for Rooftop Rhythms. Years later, you are now the most improved poet for the 2015-2016 season. Were you always a writer?

Mohammed: I had an unquenchable thirst to speak ‘the adult’s language’ when I was a child. My father, having crisscrossed Europe, lived in Sudan and wrote for prestigious papers here in the UAE and was the motivation of it all. I fell in love with language, and subsequently fell in love with writing. I started writing when I was twelve.

Mohammed Tariq Anis

Photo by Mahmoud Darwiche

Dorian: What made you take the leap from capturing artists behind the camera to being a performer in front of the camera?

Mohammed: It made sense to me. I am an unpublished writer who is yet to realize a dream of having a book; I know I can tell a story well and not just with a camera. Why not give it a shot?

Dorian: To what would you attribute your significant growth as a performance artist?


Mohammed: The right dosage of stage freights, the unconditional love of the audience, and the honest feedback from my peers.

Dorian: You have recently started to create professional videos for artists like Sara Al Souqi, me and others. Why?

Mohammed: I was inspired by Derrick Brown’s “A Finger Two Dots Then Me”, which won the Cannes Festival. It gave me a whole perspective on what poetry could truly become. I never thought I’d get to shoot something in that scale until I heard Sara’s piece a second time over at the Fairmont. It simply didn’t feel fair that something so profound remained largely inaccessible. It had to be done. Sara took it a step further by introducing it to the Mosquers Film Festival over at Canada Edmonton. The feedback was overwhelmingly fulfilling. It was a niche, I realized, that was worth pursuing.

Dorian: Over the past few years, you have been the top archivist of the local poetry and spoken word scene in the UAE. How has the scene evolved since you first started coming to shows five years ago?

Mohammed: That is a very profound and humbling notion; I didn’t realize I was even wearing that mantle. The Spoken Word scene is the closest thing I have seen to a cultural renaissance, comparing from what it was to what it has become. Personally, I feel privileged to have been a part of it; it has allowed to see myself in ways I never thought possible.


Dorian: How have you changed as a poet over the past few years?

Mohammed: What I can say is that I have a better perspective on the spoken word scene; in my humble opinion that there are two categories performers tend to lean towards, one more than the other. One is showmanship, the other is poetry. I think I have accomplished in improving as the former, and while I’d say there’s still room for more – I need to focus on improving the poetry itself.

Dorian: Recently, you have mentioned that you would like to pursue cinematography and videography full-time. Is there a market for that in the UAE?

Mohammed: Despite the challenges, which include financial limitations, I’m utterly convinced that there is.

Dorian: Where do you see yourself five years from now? 10 years?


Mohammed: I’d like to travel while I still have whatever measure of health I have left and, perhaps, volunteer in humanitarian groups. Whatever it is, it won’t be here and it will certainly be outside the scope of one’s career path. I don’t see myself staying in one place. I don’t think God enriched this planet with its cultures and natural treasures expecting us to stay in one corner.

Dorian: I agree. I don’t see myself staying around for the check. Can you handle it?

Mohammed: *Blank stare*


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Sister Act: Amplifying the Healing Power of Art



Christina and Tanya Awad started the ‘Blank Canvas’ initiative as a collaboration for music, poetry, painting and food lovers. Since it’s inception, their passion project has won many accolades and appreciation. In 2017, they were speakers at a TEDx Talk in ­Fujairah.  In 2018 and 2019, they have received nominations at the Pride of Abu Dhabi Awards for Best ­Contribution to the Arts category.
Tempo had caught up with the sisters earlier to talk about their passion project.

Christina: “I am a creative soul, an Innovative Spatial Designer by trade and I use design as a tool to create meaningful experiences within urban environments. Our story may be familiar to you. From everywhere and nowhere, our ‘third culture kid’ syndrome has always left us questioning this feeling of ‘sense of belonging’ and why it’s so important. Of Palestinian/Lebanese origins, and no particular place to call ‘home’, we are sisters who find home in people and expression.

Tanya: “I am a sustainability and events coordinator by trade, and I believe in humanity and nature thriving harmoniously. It has been a long journey across continents, from France (inception) to Australia (implementation) to the UAE (action).  It all started with a simple little game to kill time on a long nine hour drive across France. We decided to share a notebook and draw on the same page and fell in love with the idea of shared ownership of art and the patience one had to have for accepting what they did not understand. When my sister passed the notebook to me the first time, I looked at it and two things came to mind- how can I make sense of this drawing and why would I want to spoil it? I couldn’t answer either, and it was from then that we realised that collaborative art was about much more than creating something beautiful, it was even much more than art itself. It was a process of acceptance and unlearning that we had to go through before we let it all go and allowed our imagination to create.

The Birth of a Social Project

Christina: We returned to our home in Melbourne, Australia and shared the game with our housemates, who we at the time were trying to start up a community art organisation with. After 13 of us had a go drawing on one page, and had a blast doing it, we decided to launch an event called ‘Blank Canvas,’ we covered all the walls of our warehouse in canvas, contacted our community’s musicians and poets and had our wonderful chef housemate cook up a feast, and watched the night unfold. It was a beautiful collaboration of music, poetry, painting and food.

We witnessed professional artists, amateurs and people from all walks of life mingling, exchanging and empowering each other to create; to express. Something happened that night, it felt like something was being built, we were creating a world that was safe for each of us to express ourselves through art and rhythm, and that resulted in a collective expression that was so powerful. It was then that we imagined that Blank Canvas can become a portal for creative freedom for communities around the world. The event was such a success that we held one shortly after.
Tanya: Little did we know that months later, we were packing up our lives in Australia to revisit our birthplace, Abu Dhabi; bittersweet indeed, but life throws things at us sometimes and it’s up to us to either catch them or miss them – we went for the first option. We must say, it has been a privilege to be in Abu Dhabi and watch Blank Canvas receive such a warm welcome, we feel it’s a good time to be here. We’ve been holding events in Abu Dhabi for almost two years now and are so excited to witness a growing creative community in the UAE.


Amplifying the Healing Power of Art

Christina: What we want to share is nothing revolutionary. We want to nurture community by directing our focus towards the environment, local talents and skills, initiatives and businesses. We try to achieve this through art as we believe it helps us dig deep into our conscience and find what is important.

Tanya: There are too many people in the world who feel lonely, misunderstood and marginalized. This leads people to distract themselves and fall into a vicious cycle of materialism and self loathing. We don’t claim to know how to eliminate all suffering in the world, but we do believe that expression through art can serve as a great tool to simply feel enough, to feel like we are part of something bigger and to get us to work- meaningful work!

Simply, we believe that we are responsible for one another and through collaborative art, not only do we learn how to communicate with strangers, irrespective of language, we also learn how to embrace and help each other grow. We find our strengths through each other and through our strengths, we learn compassion- a vital ingredient of this existence that ensures our happiness and self fulfillment!

Christina: Creative heads are connecting and the arts scene is definitely growing. There are opportunities to connect these people and provide space for them to express themselves. You will create so many things that you don’t like, that you are ashamed of. One day, you might wake up and look back at it and think, ‘Hey, that was pretty awesome actually,’ you might also wake up and think ‘That was a disaster.’ but you know what? You’ll probably laugh at either one of those outcomes – what is hard to live with is the ‘Why didn’t I even try?’

Tanya: We are always expected to deliver perfection, when the truth is perfection itself is subjective. No one can ever see the world through your eyes, why not try to show the world what beauty looks like to you? Art, in all its forms, can help you do this. It can also reveal things to you about yourself that you never noticed. Just accept that there are things you are great at and things you aren’t, this also proves why we need community! We all have different strengths and if only we could embrace each other’s skills, we can truly thrive as a collective!


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Think Innovation Impact Community, think Change



Innovation Impact Community

Embrace the Power of One! Welcome to the Innovation Impact Community!

The Thought Leader. The Entrepreneur. The Change Agent. The Artist. The Influencer. It is that power of one individual that fuels the groundswell of positive change, commerce and innovation in our world.  

We have all heard those inspiring stories about how individuals step up to the plate to initiate positive change in society.  It is such individuals that kickstart an idea, initiate a cause and drive a movement. It is individuals that enrich our community with new ideas and new purpose. We have seen the phenomenon of strong willed, committed and passionate individuals who create a positive idea and set off a chain reaction of social innovation. We call this phenomenon the Innovation Impact Community.

The IIC is a coming together in brilliant and full circle of our two social platforms, Tempo magazine and our Tamakkan entrepreneurship platform. Tempo has always been about the community since its inception in August 2009. Our focus in the magazine and in has always been showcasing our community’s heroes, highlighting their contributions and giving them a platform to achieve more. Tamakkan, born in July of the same year, has also a social impact trajectory, providing a space for SMEs to network, learn and collaborate. 


Through the Innovation Impact Community or IIC our aim is to share stories, experiences and guidance.  We take Tempo’s DNA of social giving and add to it Tamakkan’ strategic focus on social entrepreneurship, and together they reinforce a single-minded purpose to amplifying hope and giving.

Thought Leaders

We bring you the Thought Leaders whose teachings touch on the human experience, and those challenges and fears that reside in many of us. They guide us to rise above our limitations by reframing our perspectives into frameworks that empower, rather than restrain.


The Artists hold a soft spot in my heart, because these are the ones who enrich our lives with the beauty of creativity and imagination. And yet many artists around the world remain on the fringes, unable to support their passions and their crafts. Here we salute them for nurturing our souls.


Nothing is as telling about the pace of change in our world as the emerging role of the Social Influencer. These are individuals whose voices shape our communication landscape through a role they have willfully embraced. They help make sense of this frenetic babble, and humanize the experience by connecting us to others. They offer guidance to navigate our everyday human issues.

Change Agents

The Change Agent is that person who won’t quit. He or she sees that something can be done to do good somewhere, somehow – and they dive in selflessly to catalyze a positive transformation. They are the conscience of our community, and we owe them for caring about others.



Then there is the entrepreneur, the one who fires the flame of innovation by designing, building, shaping and deploying. They are the risk takers and the true soldiers of commerce and industry, and for me, it is that sole individual, that startup or the SME that captures my imagination. Many of us are entrepreneurs and we should see ourselves as that essential cog in the industrial wheel that disrupts the status quo and gives us new ideas that power a promising future.

We invite you to join the Innovation Impact Community!

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