Lifestyle Header image fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women main image

| by The Fustany Team

17 Successful Egyptian Women Reveal How They Made It, and How You Can Also Make It!

It’s International Women’s Day, and to celebrate it, we've decided to feature some amazing Egyptian women that were able to break the rules, challenge the society, and chase their dreams. These 17 successful Egyptian women made it in many different fields, while working under many different circumstances, including (but not limited to) sports, fashion, events planning and even culinary arts. The common thing between them all is persistence and hard work!

These 17 successful Egyptian women will tell you how made it, how they're trying to influence and empower other women through their work, and how you can make it big in their field too.

1 & 2. Aya and Mounaz Abdel Raouf - Okhtein

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women aya and mounaz okhtein

Photography by: Photoboutique

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

We think by pushing through the bad, through the hardship and through what seems to be the impossible, we influence other women in their successful careers in return. We've always stated that nothing comes easy, especially when trying to make it to the big world. We had people discourage us, we had people laugh at our big dreams, but we believed in ourselves more than anything and more than anyone. Our advice to all the women out there, whether they want to save lives, design, build buildings, become housewives, etc. that you should keep on pushing. Believe in yourself, and when you do, magic happens.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

We think being a woman is an inspiration on its own. We've always been amazed by how much our mother can do and how much she can endure. She would wake up in the morning, get us ready for school, go to work, come back and have lunch ready for all of us. At night she would help us study, put us to bed and then start it all over again the next day. We both found this to be quiet astonishing, and we took it as a main drive to push ourselves to do whatever it takes to become half the woman she is. We are very close to the women in our family, our mother, grandmother and aunts. They are all the same when it comes to handling both a career and a personal life.

3. Farida Attout - Bordure Events

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

It is very important for successful women to have a continuous voice and share their experiences whether through social media or more formal platforms. A continuous example of female leadership encourages the important mindset, that success in greater measure, is absolutely obtainable for today's women, and the women of the future. Empowering and elevating other women toward successful careers in this field is one of my passions. I feel that sharing my experiences and personal philosophies can inspire other women to seek solutions for navigating the wedding planning industry in ways that are most reflective of who they are. Ultimately, women should be hearing from other women as to examples and methodologies that will potentially resonate with them and the careers they want to build. It’s about taking a moment to lead by example and be a supporter.

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Never think you cannot pursue your dream career because you are a woman! Follow your passion. Find something you love. Strive to be the best you can be. The secret to being a successful woman in today's market is to walk to the beat of your own drum, listen to your intuition, and always follow through.

4. Hadia Hosny - Egyptian Badminton player, Teaching Assistant in Faculty of Pharmacy, and Founder of Hadia Hosny Badminton Academy

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women hadia hosny

I have built my career on what I want, not what others want for me, and I have passion for what I do, thank God. I have been influenced by my African rhythmic gymnastics champion sister, Nadine Hosny Elsaid, who was also a successful "A" pharmacy student. I advise women to fight for what they want, and to surround themselves with good, positive and successful people to achieve their dreams no matter what it takes to reach them.

5, 6 & 7. Heba, Sherine, and Nira Shunbo -  The Four Fat Ladies

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

We believed in ourselves and turned our passion into a business. As women, we work hard, we are dedicated to our business, and most importantly we believed in ourselves enough to take a leap of faith and pursue what we had a passion for.  All of these factors serve as a good motivational force for other women, who dream of pursuing their own passion. We think it’s important for women to believe in themselves, half the battle is to have the confidence in yourself and your abilities, and then almost anything is achievable. It’s always very inspiring and encouraging to see that women can be successful and bring a dream or idea to fruition.

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field. 

Find your hidden talent and what you’re passionate about, and success will most definitely follow.  

8. Lina Mowafy - Co-founder of Arts Mart Gallery


How can you influence other women with your successful career?

Keep your eyes on the ball. As women, so much is asked from us on different fronts every day. It is so easy to get lost, sidetracked and depleted. But don't, write down a list of your own priorities in life and manage your time in exactly that order.

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

"Follow your heart" is the truest cliche of all time. But also, work every single day, anywhere you can. Connect with women who empower you. Write down your best ideas. Make time for playing. Be brave. Write down your mistakes. And research, research, research. And then eat and sleep well. And do it all over again.

9. Mariam Yeya - Fashion Designer and Founder of MRS. KEEPA 

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women mariam yeya

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

My first and most important message would be “don't fear change” or ever think “it's too late.” I woke up one day deciding I’ve had my share of what I did as an Executive Director for Emaar, handling all their media business, as I reached a point where it has become a comfort zone with no challenges ahead and hence no drive to achieve. I fearlessly decided to shift career and let go of my senior position and 10 years of media expertise at the age of 30! As I totally believed I have more to offer elsewhere, and it happened to be in the fashion field that I have always been so passionate about.

Make sure you choose the right career, where you think you are talented and passionate the most, because this is the only way you would be able to offer something to the table and accordingly make your first steps towards success.

"Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Don’t seek public appeal, let your work be your first and only priority; the second you will be distracted by people’s opinion for assurance you will lose focus and most probably faith in yourself, and that is simply because most humans tend to criticize by nature to let others down, in order to feel good about themselves. People can feel when you get out of your way to please them, so don’t try too much; just be true to yourself and to others and don’t lose track or consistency of who you are and what you are offering and the right crowd will follow (don’t forget to each has his right crowd).

It was never my plan to act as an influencer (how social media has labeled anyone with good following base), I never gave importance to who likes or dislikes to what I do, not out of disrespect but I don’t represent everyone’s taste and hence people’s approval of my style or my brand was never a concern; so WORK WORK WORK AND ONLY WORK, and forget about the world of likes and comments we live in; hard work and passion is what pays off.

And one last thing I would like to communicate to all the beautiful women out there, God has created us women very powerful enough by nature, with the pain journey we have to go through from the age of puberty, followed by pregnancy and uncontrollable hormonal changes; so don’t be harsh on yourself you are already a shining star for just being a WOMAN.

10. Nardine Farag - ETbelarabi Host on MBC4 and MBC Masr

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women nardine farrag

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

In my opinion, any woman can achieve her goals. If I can do it, then anyone can. This is simply the message I want to reflect from my success. Women are strong and can excel in what they are doing.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

My advice to any woman who is trying to make it big in my business field would be "to never give up." It is a very tough field, and one gets disappointed on many occasions, it is also very stressful as the competition is huge. But focus on your goal, learn from disappointments and mistakes, they won't break you, in fact they should make you stronger and more focused rather than disappointing you or making you give up.

11. Nora El Sadat - Chef, Recipes Developer and TV Presenter at CBC Sofra

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women nora el sadat

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

When I first graduated, my career was completely different than my passion. It just happened  overnight, I decided to follow my passion, so I invested more time and effort into food, from tips and tricks to easy recipes, because all I wanted was to help young women find easy recipes that are delicious and quick to be done. I found out that more and more ladies are interested and even gentlemen; so it gave me the push to give it my best and here I am, following my passion professionally, and doing what I know best.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Do not give up, I know it is not easy, but if you are talented you will reach your goals someday, and put this in mind... "Just because you aren't making progress as fast as you think you should, doesn't mean that you aren't making progress."

12. Nada Taalab - Founder and CEO of CHEFOX Camp, former National Team Swimmer

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women nada taalab cheefox1

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

The secret to being a successful woman in today's market is to walk to the beat of your own drum and listen to your intuition. Liberate yourself from the ordinary, traditions and fear. I gave up on my engineering certificate as I never saw myself a 9 to 5 employee, and I decided to turn my passion into a profitable business, believing that if all the people are seeking jobs, who will create ones? I guess I will! That's why 2 years ago I started CHEFOX.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

As you might imagine, owning a business isn’t always sunshine and roses – it’s the greatest game out there, but it’s not easy and there are challenging days for everyone. With that in mind, I thought I would share one of my favorite quotes – it might get you to think a bit differently and hopefully inspire you. It pretty much sums up the whole entrepreneurial endeavor…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the woman who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

13. Pacinthe Badran - Fashion Stylist, Art Director, Co-founder of Two Owls Productions and Founder of Maison PB 

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women pacinthe badran

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

Being a woman for me now automatically translates into my head to strength and persistence. We have the ability to move mountains, yes we do. And we get stronger as it gets tougher. I discovered that after I became a mom. Never thought in a million years that I would be able to do what I do, all at the same time, with a baby! So believe in yourself, hold on to your dreams and always know there's more in you than what you think. 

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Patience and persistence are key. Be original and creative, be you! Everyone is looking for originality, be it.

14. Reem Abou El Makaram - Founder of Dokan Boutique

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women reem abou el makarem

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

Life is but a challenge, and you need to get ready for it. In one’s pursuit to reach his/her dream, one cannot attain it if you stay within your comfort zone. Go out there, dare to falter and rise, experience trial and error, suffering and pain. Only then will you grow stronger, only then will you have a clear vision of what you can do, only then will your ambitious soul be inspired, and only then will you be successful.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Your path to success has no final destination. Success is dynamic; if you want to be successful you need to understand that every step you take in that direction is followed by yet another more difficult step. I, personally, confronted many obstacles and difficulties that were frustrating but that only made me stronger and more adamant to overcome them. Never give up; there is no failure. A wise woman once told me Think of FAIL as First Attempt In Learning. There is no end to your attempts. Think of END as Effort Never Dies. Finally, don’t take NO for an answer. Think of it as Next Opportunity.

15. Yasmine Eissa - Founder and Designer of Vantique Jewelry

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women yasmine eissa vantique

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

I would tell every woman to be different and out of the box. Follow your heart and your dream. Work hard and don't give up. When you start a business, you have to be professional, organized and unique. You have to offer a new product or style that is your own. Don't be scared and don't get demotivated; there is always room for improvement. Understand that how you start is not always going to be the best that you can offer. No one is perfect so be prepared to study, learn, fix your mistakes and improve. That doesn't make you bad, it makes you strong. As long as you are persistent, hard working and different, you will succeed. The road to success is not easy and full of obstacles, so patience is the key.

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

I would advise every woman who wants to make jewelry to focus on doing a style that she is passionate about, and then research the market very well. There are many jewelry designers, but only a few stand out. You have to research what is out there and then come up with something new, bold and different. Don't focus on what others are doing, do your own thing and create your own identity. In a nutshell, don't imitate, innovate!

16. Zeina El Naggar - Professional Makeup Artist

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women zeina el naggar

Passion is what makes any job joyful! No need to mention how being a makeup artist who works with brides is really stressful, I love a life where personal emergencies don't exist. Meanwhile, being a wife and a mom who wants to grow old with her kids and be a part of their moving forward and building their future is a real challenge or as I call it, the game where you can be really professional and responsible at work along with playing your mama role perfectly just don't mix. Leave the work hassles at your door and vice versa, enjoy your vacations and be committed to have fun. Wake up early for work, and seek support from your loved ones. My parents and my husband always support me and they've filled my place in times I couldn't be there, and that made me feel more secured and loved. Cheers to all the successful mothers who made it in their career as well as their family life. 

17. Zena Sallam - Co-founder of Cotton Ball

Fustany lifestyle interviews successful egyptian women zena sallam cotton ball

How can you influence other women with your successful career?

I think I'm proof that if you have an end goal and drive, anything is possible. Cotton Ball started as a simple idea, and with small achievable milestones we were able to see it flourish organically. Sometimes it's the simplest ideas that make it!

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women.” Share a piece of advice for any woman who's trying to make it big in your business field.

Don't let anyone or anything sway you from your vision. People are opinionated, and most people will try to give you their two cents. If you believe in your vision/idea, know you have something special, and have the drive to see it through, that's enough. You are what your project needs to succeed.




Tags: Lifestyle  Interviews  Entrepreneurs  Entrepreneurship  Athlete  Arab women  Egypt  Women  Women empowerment  Inspiring women  Mariam yehia  Farida attout  Okhtein  Pacinthe badran  Nardine farag  International women's day  Business  Tips