Monday February 26th, 2024
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30 Kickass Women In Egypt

We look back into the past to revisit 30 inspirational kickass women who continue to inspire and influence Oum El Donya.

Staff Writer

The women of this country are incredible, and nobody is allowed to claim otherwise. Overcoming the obstacles of daily life and striving to be far more than what this society restricts them into being, Egyptian women have become a symbol of resilience and innovation in a culture struggling to define what it stands for. Ladies, you don't get enough appreciation around here. It's true; Egypt has some incredible yet underrated women who've done awesome, adventurous, and unfathomable things both in and for our homeland. Some of these women have blown us away with talent, strength, and innovation, reviving the days when women's contributions to this country were impactful and groundbreaking. While some break the mould in film and fashion, others surpass expectations and explore the world of rally racing and motorcycle gangs; while some are young and full of aspirations, others have grown to become iconic over years of tireless work and contributions; while some are passionate about expressing this country's stories, others are passionate about living them. The #WomenOfEgypt know no bounds or restrictions, and are slowly but surely reclaiming their rightful positions in Om El Donya - a country that proudly claims to be Mother of the World

We've put together a list of 30 of the most kickass women this country has had the pleasure of calling its own, and of whom we've had the privilege to sit down and chat with one-on-one. Happy International Women's Day, Egypt; you've got some kickass women!

Maram: Minimalist Luxury 

Based between Paris and Montreal, Egyptian designer Maram Aboul Enein has become a fixture at fashion week, as her eponymous line continues to turn more and more heads. Here she tells her story from humble beginnings to catwalk glory.

Maha Abo Ouf: On Acting, Life, And The Future 

An interview with one hell of an incredible woman, actress, and singer, who has magnificent takes on things and funny stories to tell.

Azza Fahmy: The First Lady Of Egyptian Jewellery

Valentina Primo meets the mastermind behind one of the most internationally successful brands in recent Egyptian history, the iconic Azza Fahmy, ahead of the release of one of her timeless collections.

Nourine Hammad: Reality Check

CairoScene sits down with Nourine Hammad, an amateur artist who has recently turned towards the compelling hyperrealist movement in art, creating pieces that are so vivid you could pick them up off the paper.

Dalia Hassan: A One Woman Crew

Rahma Zein El Din speaks to the lauded video journalist about breaking news, being a woman in the industry, and the problem with state media.

Fatma Mansour: Addressing Feminism Through Comics 

Eihab Boraie sits down with Fatma Mansour, Chief Editor of the Middle East's first and only feminist comic, to talk about the benefits of creatively combating Egypt's endemic sexual harassment and gender inequality issues.

Hend Abou El Seoud: An Emblem Of Egyptian Television's Glory Days

From partying with stars Abdel Halim Hafiz and Om Kalthoum, to creating media trends and donning couture in the swinging 60s, the ex-Vice President of Egyptian State Television is a pioneer, feminist icon, and fierce grandmother of Rahma Zein El Din. Together, they take a trip down memory lane...

Bassant El Qassem's Real Women

Egyptians excel at body shaming. Whether it's your grandma telling you you're too skinny or vile men on the street pointing out your flaws, women in this country find themselves abiding by other people's standards. Mona Daoud chats with the 23-year old artist that's saying to hell with that.

Salma Tarzi: Under The Surface

Timmy Mowafi delves into the mind of the woman who picked up a camera and knocked on the door of the now notorious Oka & Ortega, making a passion-stirring documentary about the illustrious Shaabi scene.

We sit down with photographer and cinematographer Salma El Kashef, who captures striking shots and moving images, and find out what the world looks like through her lens.

Maryam Saleh: A Musical Nebula

Eihab Boraie sits down with musical supernova and acting sensation Maryam Saleh to talk early inspiration, pushing boundaries, and refusal to be pigeon-holed.

Jamila Awad: The Starlet Stealing The Spotlight

She captivated Egypt with her gritty depiction of the teenage struggle in laast 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 Abdallah - brings out her darker side.

Sarrah Abdelrahman: From Youtube Blogger To Screen Starlet

We meet up with the young YouTube sensation, outspoken social activist, and rising screen starlet to talk revolutionary views, the power of the Internet, and acting opposite Nelly Kareem. Meanwhile, our MO4 fashion team takes her on whimsical style trip.

Yasmine Yeya: The Queen Of Bridal Couture

The queen of Cairo's bridal couture scene, Yasmine Yeya's elegant wedding dresses have made her Egypt's most in-demand designer. She speaks candidly to Farah Hosny about beauty, bridezillas, and wearing a little black dress to her own wedding.

Amina Khalil: From Screen Starlet To Soaring Kite Surfer

Is there anything this woman can't do? Eihab Boraie heads out to Ras Sudr with the MO4 Fashion team to meet the unstoppable Amina Khalil and find out how the actress is balancing her profession with her love of kitesurfing.

Norshek Fawzy: Fitness Freak, Businesswoman, Supermum

Balancing 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!

Supermama: The Entrepreneur Modernising Parenting In The Middle East

Having grown her website - dedicated to Arab mothers and the perils of modern parenthood - into a $3.5 million business, Yasmine El-Mehairy talks success and SEO with Valentina Primo. 

Zeina: The Hardest Working Egyptian Female DJ

Having lived and gigged across the world, from Canada and the USA to Germany and Egypt, DJ and Producer Zeina is settled in Cairo and gives Egyptian music lovers a taste of the real underground.

Dina Zulfikar: Awareness Saves Our Animals 

Veteran animal rights defender Dina Zulfikar has been on a decades-long mission to ensure that she is a thorn in the side of every Egyptian official and institute that has contributed to the country's widespread animal rights abuses.

Yara Shalaby: Egypt’s Only Female Rally Racer

We explore the desert with Egypt's only female dune racer, Yara Shalaby, and dig deep with her about challenges of competing in a male-dominated sport and her future aspirations in assembling the Middle East's first all-female racing squad.

Aleya Hamza: Gypsum Gallery

May Mansour meets the founder and curator of one of the most unique gallery spaces in Egypt, and finds out how she's changing the scene and nurturing artists with every exhibition.

Into The Mind Of FullPower: Illusive, Otherworldly Artwork

May Mansour meets enigmatic underground artist FullPower to find out more about her unique - almost lucid - style, and what inspires it. 

Model of the moment, Tara Emad, has left her mark across Egypt and beyond, plastered on billboards, filling magazines and dominating runways, all by the tender age of 21. Here she talks hard work, family values, and scaling the fashion ladder in heels.

Shaved: Bold And Bald 

Dalia Awad catches up with Nour Emam as she took to social media sporting a beautifully bald head, documenting her unshackling through shaving in a striking social project.

Soraya Bahgat: The Egyptian Stronghold of Women's Rights

A tireless advocate for women’s rights, Soraya Bahgat has been acknowledged by the likes of Hillary Clinton; yet, in Egypt, she has often chosen to remain far from the spotlight. As she sits with Valentina Primo, the activist talks gender equality, FGM, and why she prefers to stay backstage.
Rahma Zein El Din hits the road with three of Egypt's most confident and fearless women who have decided to smash stereotypes and steer their own freedom - all on two wheels.
Niveen Ghoneim meets the veiled fashion designer who has dressed the likes of Queen Rania, to talk skinny jeans, Hind Rostom, and redefining our beauty and fashion standards one gown at a time.
Having forged her unique artistic path - no holds barred - by collaborating and creating with whatever interests her, Maii Waleed is a musician on a mission of self-expression. On the tails of her EP with Zeid Hamdan, Eihab Boraie finds out what makes her tick.

Nour El Sherbini: The Great Bambina

Niveen Ghoneim heads to Alexandria to meet the world's youngest top-ranking squash player, 20-year-old Nour El Sherbini, who has broken records and made history in the sport. The young prodigy opens up about competitiveness on the court, her fears and insecurities, and what drives her.
Once a vibrant community, perfectly assimilated into society, the Jews of Egypt have dwindled in numbers and their presence is now almost non-existent. Niveen Ghoneim takes one last walk down memory lane with the last custodian of Egypt's Jewish heritage.