Lifestyle

The Stigma of Being “Samra”

Tuesday March 27, 2018      By: Menerva Hammad

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Samra is the term used to define a dark-skinned girl or woman in Arabic. We Egyptian girls, no matter where we grow up, we will learn that a fair skinned woman is beautiful and a samra is not. We will learn, that our naturally curly hair needs to be straightened, because otherwise it looks too messy, and girls with messy hair are not beautiful. We will be brainwashed that our dark eyes are less attractive, because blue, green and hazel eyes mesmerize people, but dark eyes …. continue reading …

Eiten Zeerban – Born to be a TV journalist!

Friday March 9, 2018                          By: Jaylan El Shazly

28576189_1883299438379118_2076651726314775421_nWhen Eiten Zeerban was twelve years old, she took all her savings and bought herself a tape recorder to interview people. From there on, she carved her way through the world of journalism.

After years of experience working in television journalism in Egypt, Lebanon, the United States, and England, Zeerban now presents a successful online weekly show called Cold Coffee with Eiten….. continue reading …

She Can- 2018, Unleashing the power of women in Egypt!

Thursday March 8, 2018              By: Jaylan El Shazly

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The highly anticipated “She Can – 2018 ” conference took place on the first weekend in March at the Greek Campus, Downtown Cairo. The event brought together over 28 speakers and hundreds of women and men to showcase successful female entrepreneurs and listen to their experiences. Under the warm Cairo winter sun, a main stage was set up throughout the two days.  Entrepreneurs, artists, activists, and scientists delivered Ted-style presentations that focused primarily on their professional journeys and the challenges they encountered in their careers…. continue reading….

Hala Aboulela aspires to improve education in Egypt, one school at a time

By: May Allam         Sunday March 3, 2018

28536507_10159971129360705_458894004_nWith a vision to provide better learning opportunities for children in Egypt, Hala Aboulela, shifted her career from web design to education. The founder and president of Montessori Foundation of Egypt, and the mother of two, spent a significant amount of time researching and learning about different education methods. She developed a passion for Montessori education and decided to bring the authentic Montessori education to Egypt, for the first time…. continue reading …..

Aconcagua – Nourhan Refaei’s Incomplete Journey

Wednesday February 28, 2018        By: Alexandra Kinias

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Honeymoons are among the most romantic experiences for newly-weds. However, Nourhan Refaei and her husband Amr Gouda didn’t pick a tropical island with exotic beaches, or other dream destinations like most honeymooners. Instead, they packed their gear and hiked the Italian Alps. That should not come as a surprise from the couple who is passionate about hiking….. continue reading ….

A Sneak Peek at Entreprenelle’s – She Can 2018 – Mega Women Empowerment Event.

Saturday February 10, 2018

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As communities thrive when women are economically empowered, it’s imperative to invest in women, not just because it is right, but because it is important and necessary for the growth of healthier societies. With this understanding in mind, Rania Ayman founded, Entreprenelle, a mission driven enterprise that strives to bridge the gender and economic gap. It also aims to empower women with the needed skills by educating, training and linking them to all the resources possible…. continue reading ….

Discover Egypt With Yoga Guru Aia Faham

Monday February 5, 2018

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The yoga revolution that’s gaining momentum across the world, is spilling over in Egypt. The stressful lifestyle most Egyptians live and the frustrations they encounter on daily basis have contributed to its growing popularity. More people are resorting to yoga for mental relaxation and inner peace. Some do it as stress reliever while others do it for meditation, or wellness to improve their strength, balance and flexibility. …. continue reading …

Meet 6 Inspiring Egyptian Women in Their Traditional Costumes

Sunday January 28, 2018

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When the brothers Mohamed and Ali Reda formed their Folkdance Troop in the late fifties, they travelled across Egypt to capture the essence of the communities around the country. Their travels reached the most remote oases and nomadic tribes. They documented their costumes and music and studied their choreography. Their creations were outstanding. The government sent them in world tours to exhibit their productions, which depicted the immense cultural diversity that spans across Egypt…. continue reading ….

Hear them roar! – Leela Hazzah’s inspirational journey to preserve Lions

Friday January 5, 2018         By: Jaylan El Shazly

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Imagine living in the middle of a forest in Kenya, surrounded by wildlife and locals who speak a language that is completely foreign to you.  You spend your days walking, up to 30 kilometers, to explore the area, search for lions, and meet locals who are surprised to see you. ‘We didn’t know foreigners could walk!’ said the locals when they encountered Dr. Leela Hazzah, on one of her many treks in the area…. continue reading ….

Beautiful and Strong Inside and Out

Saturday December 30, 2017          By: Alexandra Kinias

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With their commitment to and support of women empowerment, the latest Garnier- Color Intensity commercial, embraced this concept. The young women starring are neither movie stars nor commercial models. They are real life Egyptian women who broke social taboos and proved that women can raise above their social restrictions. The new commercial reflects Garnier’s message that “every woman embraces her unique beauty while reinforcing her innate sense of self-worth.” It’s a very powerful message to young Egyptian girls, whom media and society have shaped them in a different mold… continue reading …

Yogis are not who never fail, but who never quit

Thursday December 28, 2017.     By: Aia Faham

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If I had a dollar for every time someone told me one of the following misconceptions about yoga, I’d be a Millionaire.

– “Yoga is Boring.”
– “Yoga? Is it the thing that you do nothing while sitting still for long time? Oh, Sorry, I cannot.”
– “Yoga is for the flexi bendy people, that I am not one of.”
– “Okay, wait for me until I gain some flexibility, then I would start Yoga. Pinky Promise.”
– “Yoga? It is a Girly Thing. Real Men Do not do Yoga.” … continue reading …..

 

Queen of Dunes

Saturday, December 23, 2017
By: Haitham Mohamed and Mohamed Farid

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Yara Shalaby, 33, has become the first professional female rally driver in the country, winning several races of the 25 she has participated in, and overcoming stereotypes of what a woman can or cannot do with a car in Egypt… continue reading…

 

7 Things That Made My Year Even Better

Thursday December 21, 2017     By: Amany Zayed

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The stress and responsibilities we encounter on daily basis often make us want to run and hide, or worse, escape entirely while looking for balance and inner peace. On our journey through life, it is important to adopt new habits and embrace change to make our lives more enjoyable. Over the past 12 months, I learned new practices that helped me improve the quality of my life, and made it better… continue reading …

 

Does My Background Shape My Identity?

Wednesday December 6, 2017    By: Nada Reda El Kharbotly

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He came from Turkey. She came from Palestine. He came for a better career. She came to escape a war zone. Two generations later I was born, in Egypt.  My family has given me a lot over the years, but nothing will ever come close to the multicultural background I was born into. Over the years, there was always a question that consumed me. Which country do I truly belong to? … continue reading .. 

Heya Masr: A Story Within No Borders

Tuesday November 20, 2017     By: Shereen G. Eldin

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Sometimes, we have ideas on what is wrong with our world. Sometimes, we have feelings. And sometimes, we have the numbers that give roots to our ideas and our feelings. So, it came as no surprise when we learned that from 2010 to 2011, 26,000 Egyptian children were estimated to have dropped out of school, of that whopping figure, seventy-six percent were  girls… continue reading …

Sherouk Ibrahim: An Accountant Turned Fashionista

Monday November 13, 2017      WOE Staff

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Zagazing University Commerce graduate, Sherouk Ibrahim, has been passionate about clothes and fashion since she was a young girl. It became challenging for her, as she was growing up, to find clothes to fit her. That forced her to buy whatever was available in the market and adjust the sizes. On many occasions, she ended up designing her own clothes… continue reading ….

How A Car Accident Changed Marianne Awad’s Life

Saturday November 4, 2017
By: May Allam

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Life can change in a blink of an eye. No one expects to be a victim of a car accident, and survivors are never prepared for a life after. It brings some of your dreams to an end, puts your life on hold, and changes your priorities. It’s a fate twister, a moment you wish to re-wind or delete. It leaves you with anger, shock, and many unanswered questions. It changes your life forever…. continue reading … 

Maggie Riad’s Inspiring Journey from Economist to Jewelry Maker

Saturday October 28, 2018
By: Jaylan ElShazly

“The things worth doing seldom come easy” – Author Unknown

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Sitting on a Red Sea beach for the first time after recuperating from a devastating accident, Maggie Riad pondered about her life and where to find strength to continue her journey as a jeweler. She hadn’t regained yet full function of her legs and arms after a maniac driver hit her while jogging one early morning. With her limited mobility, her only source of entertainment was ruffling through the seashells on the shore…. continue ….

6 Amazing Egyptian Opera Singers You Should Meet

Monday October 23, 2017

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Opera singing was first introduced to Egypt in 1869. Khedive Ismail instructed the building of an opera house to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal. He commissioned the famous Italian composer, Guizzepi Verdi, to write his famous opera Aida for the inaugural ceremonies. … continue … 

Real Women Ride Motorcycles

Wednesday October 4, 2017
By: WOE Team

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A Ladies of Harley’s member, Dina Wassef ranks among the pioneer female bike riders who are breaking social taboos in Egypt. After graduating from the University of Fine Arts in 2007, Wassef worked as Sales Manager for Harley Davidson Egypt. That’s where she discovered her passion for bikes, learned to ride and hasn’t stopped since…continue reading …

Egyptian Girls Galloping Off Into A New Sport

Saturday September 17, 2017
By: WOE Staff

Tent Pegging is an equestrian game that requires the rider to pierce and pick a target off the ground with a sword or a lance while charging at it. The sport is played in many countries around the world, Egypt included. Because the sport is not popular in the country, many people are unaware that Egypt has a national team, not to mention that its coach Ayah Eissa is the youngest certified female tent pegging coach in the world…. continue reading …

Why Natural Birth?

Saturday September 23, 2017
By: Habiba Elhady

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Women have been giving natural birth since the dawn of man; that is the way it has been documented in ancient books and written on the walls of pharaonic temples.  Believing in women’s continued ability to give natural birth and bringing that concept back into the mainstream, is the focus of Dr. Hana Kassem’s work…. continue reading …

5 Tips To De-Stress Your Life

Saturday September 2, 2017
By: Alexandra Kinias

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Today’s life is a magnet for stress. Demanding jobs, chaotic traffic, noisy environment, provocative people and frustrating situations, all contribute to elevating our stress level. For many of us stress has become such a chronic manifestation of our over stimulating lifestyle that we no longer notice how stressed we are. Stress affects our mood, relationships, social life and professional performance. Living a stressful life can become harmful to our wellbeing in …… continue reading …

 

The Four Biscuits-Underneath the Icing

Sunday August 20, 2017
By: Shereen G. Eldin

“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.” – Matthew Quick, The Silver linings playbook

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Down, a four-lettered syndrome, a heart-breaking challenge to some and a superpower to others. That is what-now friends-Nada and Nura thought as they sent off their special talented sisters to a special education school. With a sky high tuition bill, and a student skill development outlook that was lacking at best, they put their heads together, pooled their resources and thought about what they could really do to enhance their sisters’ lifestyles, grow their abilities and change the way society views them…. continue ….

Schirin Salem Teaches Women Wen-Do to Fight Sexual Harassment

Friday August 18, 2017
By: Jaylan El Shazly

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With the soaring rates of sexual harassment in Egypt, Schirin Salem, together with her friend Emmeline Lavender, launched Igmadi (Be Strong) Initiative in 2014, to empower women to stand up against harassment through Zumba fitness and Wen-Do self-defense training. With the series of events they organized across Egypt, Igmadi has since grown into a full-blown phenomenon….continue reading …

She Can – Entreprenelle’s Empowering Event

Thursday July 27, 2017
By: Jaylan El Shazly

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Undeterred by the blazing July sun, some 200 women gathered at the Greater Cairo Library to participate in ‘She Can 2017’, an event organized by Entreprenelle. A mission driven enterprise that strives to empower local women economically, Enreprenelle organized this event to bring together women who push their limits and want to develop themselves as future leaders and entrepreneurs….continue reading …

Egyptian Beauty Queens of La Belle Epoque

Tuesday July 25, 2017
Written by Doaa Ahmed

The first Egyptian beauty contest was held in Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century. The photo of Yolanda Kassar appeared on the cover of Al-Musawwar Magazine – dated October 21, 1927 – claiming the title. Under her photo was written The Most Beautiful Girl in Egypt…. continue reading …

 

Bakeaholics is More Than Just a Passion for Baking

June 3, 2017
By: Habiba Elhady

1098141_616933565005996_2020219078_nThe number of women home-based small businesses in Egypt is on the rise. The declining economic situation has contributed to the influx of work-at-home moms, but many corporate employees are also leaving behind lucrative jobs to a more relaxing work environment.  Sarah Arram, founder of Bakeaholics, a leading cake decorating company, knows exactly the stress, the long hours, and the mental drain associated with the corporate environment. She’s has been there, done that… continue reading …

The Eternal Pearl – Short Story

Sunday May 29, 2017
By: Amany Zayed

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I sat on this comfortable lounge feeling relaxed, almost floating. I had just finished eating my delicious, yet healthy meal, always served on time and in abundance. The temperature was just right; the lightening was perfect. It was so relaxing here, I spent most of my time sleeping, or thinking how life can be any better.

Although I wished to stay there forever, days proved that this once cozy place was no longer convenient for me. As weeks went by, the spacious room that I comfortably floated in became tight, uncomfortable, and it was getting hard for to move  …. continue reading 

Egyptian Women of La Belle Époque

Saturday May 6, 2017
By Alexandra Kinias

Black and white photos evoke nostalgia to another life that had once been. A life reminisced by older generations who witnessed it firsthand, and envied by the younger ones who watched its elegance in black and white movies, often not believing their eyes. Black and white photos evoke nostalgia to another life that had once been. A life reminisced by older generations who witnessed it firsthand, and envied by the younger ones who watched its elegance in black and white movies, often not believing their eyes…. continue reading ….

 

A Strategy for Happiness

Saturday March 18, 2017
By: Nada Rafaat

We have no choice in the circumstances which we are born into, but our life experiences and what we make out of it depends on how we shape, steer and direct our thoughts. We often think that becoming successful and getting what we want in life requires only hard work. Of course, hard work is the key to success, however, to be able to truly shape our lives, we first have to change the way we think. Improving the quality of our lives, will require us to learn to practice gratitude… continue reading ….

 

Maha’s Brings a Taste From Home to Canada

Saturday, March 4, 2017
By: Habiba Elhady

After moving to Canada in 2000, Maha worked as an interpreter and a translator. For a work event, she cooked a vegetarian macaroni bel béchamel, substituting the ground meat with mixed vegetables and feta cheese, in between two layers of penne pasta and topped with béchamel sauce. The casserole was raved by her colleagues who urged her to start a catering business, which she did, with the help of her two kids, Monika, 16, and Mark, 13, then… continue reading …

 

My Idea of Happiness

Tuesday February 7, 2017
By: Habiba Elhady

14800765_1472605446088449_1851843454_nFor small talk, people often ask stupid and meaningless questions, like asking kids if they love their moms more or their dads, or asking adults if they are single or what’s new in their lives. As trivial as they are, these questions may unconsciously influence their recipient in a negative way. I was really happy with my life until people started asking me questions like, ‘what are you up to’ or ‘what are you doing with your life?’ I would shrug and mutter, “Nothing!” …. continue reading ….

 

Follow Your Dreams

Thursday January 18, 2016
By: Iman Refaat

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“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”  ~ Walt Disney.

It was a matter of courage, the lack of it, to be precise, that held me back from pursuing my dream. I wanted to write a novel in English, but neither my French education nor my degree in Mass Communication matched up to this dream. My inner voice, my worst enemy, interrupted every fantasy I had to become a novelist, continuously reminding me that I neither had the …. continue reading ….. 

 

A Unique Woman’s Creative Journey

Friday November 18, 2016
By: May Allam

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In 2007, computer engineer, Theresa Khalil moved from the polluted and chaotic city of Cairo, to start a new life in Sharm El Sheikh. Not quite common for a single woman to live alone, but for Theresa, a person guided through life by her passion for creativity, change and doing what she enjoys best, she followed the path she believed in…. continue reading … 

 

We Have a Choice

Written by: Nevin Elgendy
Thursday November 3, 2016

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I am intrigued by how our brains operate to give us full control over how we feel. I’ve been going through a big transition in my life recently. I sold our house in Ottawa and decided to move to Toronto on temporary basis. The date to close on the house was set for the end of the month, which means the change became imminent and inevitable…. continue reading ….

 

The Matchmaking

– By: Caroline Emile
Saturday October 1, 2016

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I finally arrived in Cairo after an absence of four years.  I was really looking forward to an exciting Christmas/New Year holiday, where I could hang out with friends at the latest hip and trendy venues that had sprung up across the city since I’d last visited, and just generally have a good break from London and the dreary English winter.

One small matter though that I expected would interfere with my plans for a carefree holiday: the ‘blind dates’ that I knew I was going to eventually have to face….. continue reading …

Giving Up Perfection To Perfect!

— By: Nevin Elgendy
Saturday October 1, 2016

photography-blogI swapped perfection and became myself by adopting the color “pink” instead of hanging on to the perfect “orange”!

One summer day, not too long ago, I approached a talented life coach, who is also a friend, and invited her to collaborate with me on a project. We both got excited and within a very short time, we started planning our workshop together, breaking down the tasks that needed to be done. My friend was responsible for writing the program and working on the material to market it. I was responsible for the rest. As we proceeded with the plans, my friend became less responsive to my emails and when I …. continue reading …