A Call for Egyptian Woman to Embrace Their Unique Identity

Tuesday March 5, 2010                              By: Alexandra Kinias


While it might sound redundant repeating that Egypt was the cradle of civilizations, the matter of fact is Egyptian history dates back to five thousand years. And as the world raves about Egypt, its culture, history and identity, many Egyptians not only have taken it for granted, but some are dissociating themselves from it and adopting other alien identities; forgetting that the Egyptian uniqueness was born from the cultural diversity that had woven its rich fabric.

Model: Sandra Farid

This was the essence behind the campaign “Who Are You?” created by photographer Marc Wassim and makeup artist Mariam Wadie.

Model: Caren Wahid

Marc Wassim explains that many Egyptian women, even though they maintain a lot of customs and traditions, they inherited from their grandmothers, and embrace them in their everyday lives, but yet, “on many other occasions,” they are unintentionally discarding their rich heritage by blindly imitating western trends. As a result,  they are losing their cultural identity. “People abroad look at our history and culture with awe and admiration, even more than some Egyptians. And we aspire through the campaign to resurrect the pride in the Egyptian identity. It is an idea we truly believe in.”

Model: Heba Raafat

With its strategic location, Egypt lies at the crossroads between Africa and Asia. Right in the heart of the Middle East. Both the Mediterranean civilizations, at close proximity from its coasts, and the African civilizations to its south, have also contributed and enriched its culture.

Model: Mariam Mourad

Over its history, Egypt was invaded by Berbers, Nubians, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, French and British, to name a few. It also absorbed waves of immigrants of Levantine, European and Armenian origins who settled in the country and called it home. Egypt became the melting pot and they all left their footprints on its sand. With this diversity, Egyptian culture evolved and flourished, and so did the identity of its people. Who are the Egyptians? A unique blend of all of the above. They even created  a new language, Egyptian, which is as unique as those who speak it.

Model: Marina Samuel

“Through our campaign, we want Egyptian woman to embrace their origins and learn where their beauty came from. I see the Egyptian woman as beautiful roses, with many roots, extending back from ancient Egypt to the Greeks, Nubians and Arabs. And its this diversity of origins that created that uniqueness!” concluded Mariam Wadie.

Make Up artist: Mariam Wadie,  visit her on Facebook and Instagram
Visit Photographer and Videographer: Marc Wassim website,  Facebook and Instagram
Stylist: Shirley Takla
Models: Sandra Reda
Caren Wahid
Heba Raafat
Mariam Mourad
Marina Samuel
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  1. Excellent article describing the uniqueness of the Egyptian women. Exposure to multi culturalism has created a resilient breed, though unfortunately the more recent influence of the so called religious fatwas is threatening to endanger their special attributes and spirits


  2. Great article. Lovely makeup & models portraying the real beauty of the Egyptian Girl. As Amina says in her previous comment, the Egyptian street doesn’t show this beauty any more. Sadly due to the influences of all current and last 70 plus years of the So Called “Islamic “radical” Way of Life” that altered the looks, behaviour and truth of the Real Rooted Egyptian Way of life that goes back hundreds & hundreds of years.


  3. None of this has anything to do with Egyptian culture!! All the girls are beautifully made up but they are all fair-skinned. Hello Nubians? Sudanese mixing? No reference is made to these so-called ‘origins’ as they all look the same, apart from varying amounts of eye makeup. You guys completely lost the mark on this one, which is a shame because the idea is great. And there is so much to say, but not via elaborate eye makeup.


    • Hi inji,
      We were not trying to shoot girls from all over Egypt. You got the wrong idea. The idea was to shoot modern girls, the one you find among your family and friends, despite of their skin color, they are “inspired” by these cultures. Its designs, colors, clothes, traditions,.. etc
      Remember, inspired, not transformed to these cultures.


  4. This has nothing to do with real Egyptian women or girls you didn’t embrace even mentioning the major sector of covered women as if you are minoring them from being mentioned. Modesty is required for an society to be balanced. Sorry didn’t like your article as it’s not offering an actual fact that can be practiced other than excessive make up and cloths that is not accepted at a big sector of ppl. Women can’t walk around with off shoulders cloths in streets.?


  5. I’m a strong supporter of the cause, however I don’t see any curly or tanned models to represent the cause of embracing the Egyptian female identity! That’s the genetic identity of the majority of people this article is targeting by the way. If you want to encourage Egyptian women to embrace who they are, it would be nicer to use models of all skin tones and hair textures so that more people can relate and connect with the cause…


  6. Wow. Why can’t people take the article in the spirit in which it was intended? The point was to demonstrate pride in Egyptian roots, not representation of every type of Egyptian. Let’s remember that that’s what so beautiful about Egypt. There are many types of Egyptians: people that cover their hair, people that cover their hair and face, people that cover very little. People with fair skin, people with dark skin. I see no point on focusing on the things that divide us. If that is what you choose to focus on, have you considered that perhaps you are contributing to the problem?


  7. Vast majority of Egyptians according to DNA studies are of native origin so they are a continuation of the Ancient Egyptians. The admixture from invaders was very low and didn’t impact the gene pool of Egyptians that much. And “Egyptian” isn’t a language its a dialect of Arabic.


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