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15 Most Popular Feature Pieces on CairoScene in 2015

As the year comes to an end, we list the 15 most read features on our site in 2015, from the intimate revelations of a hash dealer, to the tribulations of women who chose to take off the veil, to the profiles of the youngest entrepreneurs at the helm of the startup revolution.

Staff Writer

In a restless year where arbitrary arrests, frequent explosions, floods, and harassment scandals were a constant stream in every news feed, these are the topics that made our readers think. From the ironic challenges faced by a foreign bellydancer, to the trials of being a black women in Cairo, to the stories of those children smashing Egypt’s class divide, CairoScene shed a light on those Egyptians whose story is a real-life portrayal of Egypt’s societal complexity. Here are our 15 most popular features this year, according to our readers. 

1. Confessions Of An Egyptian Drug Dealer

Farah Hosny sits down with a Cairo hash dealer to talk about why he entered the trade, who his clientele are and how he deals with the authorities.

2. Dancing Where Dancer Is A Four-Letter Word

Though Egypt is supposed to be the Hollywood of belly dancing, dancers from across the world have flocked here only to be treated like second class citizens. Valentina Primo meets Magda - the Argentinian dancer who grew up dreaming of the Nile.

3. Are Egypt’s Women Taking Off Their Veils?

As several Egyptian seaside resorts implemented discriminatory measures against veiled women last summer, debate spread across the public sphere on the importance of respecting the hijab as an individual right – highlighting, in parallel, the classist standards that define a somewhat contradictory social divide. Are Egypt’s women putting social pressure under scrutiny?

4. I Married An Arab Man: Six Women Tell Their Stories

Valentina Primo delves into the intricacies and intimacies of intercultural marriages as she speaks to six very different women from all over the world, with one common attribute: their Egyptian husbands.

5. Ketamine: The Dangers of Egypt’s Newest Drug Trend

This year, we've seen a sudden surge in the use of Ketamine - a dissociative drug often used in veterinary practice - among Egyptian youth, who are starting more and more to use it as a recreational drug. Ahmed Samy delves into the myriad dangers associated with the substance.

6. #25Under25: The Entrepreneurs Driving Egypt’s Startup Revolution

Battling multinational giants, redefining trends, and valiantly driving social change, the change-makers at the forefront of Egypt’s most innovative businesses are implausibly young. CairoScene gathered Egypt’s top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 in an exclusive photo shoot and a series of round-table discussions where defying family mandates, challenging mindsets, networking, and taking risks were only the tip of a game-changing iceberg.

7. Norshek Fawzy: Fitness Freak, Businesswoman, Supermom

Balancing her and her family's health and fitness on the one hand, and her The Wellness Log clients on the other, Norshek Fawzy's boundless energy and commitment to all parts of her enviably fit and fabulous life never ceases to inspire. Here, she opens up about how she does it all... And then some!

8. From Cairo To Cape Town: A Roadtrip Without Borders

What was once a dream trip is soon to become the reality for intrepid explorers Sherief Zeid and Kareem Nada who have challenged themselves to travel the 45-day route from Egypt to South Africa.  

9. Mohammed Sallam: The Egyptian On His Way To Mars

In a CairoScene exclusive, Sina Stieding speaks to the only Egyptian shortlisted by the Mars One project to potentially become one of the 24 earthlings mandated with starting a human colony on the Red Planet.

10. All Eyes On Jamila Awad: The Starlet Stealing The Spotlight

She's captivated Egypt with her gritty depiction of teenage struggle in this Ramadan's Taht El Saytara but Jamila Awad is already looking to her next role. Valentina Primo meets the literal drama queen, while our fashion team led by stylist Gehad Abdalla brings out her darker side.

11. Portrait Of An Egyptian Criminal

Mona Daoud takes a look at six of Egypt's most dangerous criminals, currently detained. Try not to be terrified by their photos.

12. “Don’t Ever Say That Your Life Has No Meaning”

Around 15% of Egypt's population includes people living with disabilities, but the country is ill-equipped to handle their needs. Valentina Primo speaks to Helm, an NGO which assists persons with disabilities achieve employment and accessibility, about challenges, social stigma, and the road ahead.

13. The Reality of Racism in Egypt

What's it like to be a black woman in Egypt? Valentina Primo meets three professionals and hears the harrowing tales of modern day prejudice in every aspect of their lives.

14. The Children Shattering Egypt’s class division

Eihab Boraie returns to El Alsson private school to explore their English programme where the private school students become the teachers, giving underprivileged kids a chance to better their future. 

15. Foreigners Only: The Dirty Tricks of Cairo’s Landlords

One Cairo broker spills all about the sly duplicities and dishonesties that many Egyptian landlords use to make the most of unsuspecting tenants.