May Abdel Asim

Decoding The #banoota_syndrome :Editor’s Note for April/May 2018 Issue

Dear Readers, "Shhhh don‘t do this you are a girl, a 'banoota'" to be exact, is probably the most common sentence every Egyptian woman has internalized. We grow up listening to statements like this and unfortunately it shapes us into certain molds that society has made up for us. Society norms are a set of…

الرجوله ادب: Editor’s Note FEB/March 2018 Issue

Dear Readers, Since my father suddenly passed away my life literally turned upside down. As if life abruptly pulled away the carpet from under my feet, so I stumbled and fell flat out on my face. Suddenly, things don’t make sense and what had fulfilled me before is not serving me anymore. Dealing with grief,…

Why I fell in love with Sheikh Jackson…

Sheikh Jackson, written and directed by Amr Salama, witnessed its Middle Eastern premiere at the first edition of the El Gouna Film Festival as the opening film. Sheikh Jackson, produced by Mohamed Hefzy and Hani Osama, is a very well narrated and honest tale of a tortured soul, that grew up torn in between society,…
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Celebrate the Splendor of Downtown at Steigenberger El Tahrir Hotel

Located in the bustling heart of Downtown Cairo, there is no better venue for your celebrations and functions. The recently opened Steigenberger El Tahrir Hotel houses a cocktail room, a glamorous ballroom as well as state of the art conference rooms. Steigenberger El Tahrir creates a beautiful backdrop to all your special occasions, making it…
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Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere…

Growing up, I never really wanted to be a princess. I was rather torn between the pretty dresses of the latter and the guns and lasso of the Cowboy. So it ended up with me wearing the glittery tulle dress, red lipstick and the gun holster strapped to my waist. My role models were Robin…
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11 Years of Real Tales: Editor’s Note May/June 2017

Dear Readers, When I was a little girl my father always used to tell me how I could do anything I put my mind to. For every time I would say, “I can’t” he would tell me “yes, you can” and show me how. Whenever I would give up he would pull me up, tell…

Sexual Abuse: The Elephant in the Room

I grew up in Germany, where during the late 80s and early 90s this was a topic that had begun to be discussed openly to create awareness and protect children. We were told not to allow strangers to touch us intimately and that sexual abuse can happen to anyone. When I was around 9 or…
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Dear Influencer,

  I recently sat in a meeting in which a female client, sipping on her coffee in my office, casually summed up the conversationwith “get me the mozza in the store” in reference to social media influencers she would like to invite for her store opening. Not only did this offend me as a woman…
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Editor’s Note March/April 2014

I have always wondered what if Bassem Youssef was a woman.  Would people still laugh at the ambiguous jokes and about the F word? Or would reactions be evolving around patriarchal clichés we have grown accustomed to when it comes to gender roles?   I think we live in such a society because women allow…

Editor’s Note – January/February 2014

During the making of this issue I was lucky to meet so many interesting and beautiful human beings that reminded me how genuinely generous life is.   This issue is about challenges that are thrown in our path, often life changing and devastating. It is about the people who grab these challenges by the balls…

Rags and Tatters

With ‘Rags and Tatters’ Ahmed Abdallah has created one of the most important films around the revolution. It is a beautiful and genuine story of the marginalized, in search for identity and a sense of belonging, in the backdrop to the revolution.   It narrates the story of a nameless prisoner (Asser Yassin) who fled…

Villa 69

Villa 69 is the awarded debut feature of the talented director Ayten Amin. Premiered and awarded with the Special Jury Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Villa 69 is surely a worthy beginning for the young director.   Villa 69 is this beautiful and timeless picture about life, death and hope embodied in the…

Editor’s Note – November/December 2013

I am not a believer in New Year’s resolutions. Period. But for the first time I actually took a resolution-like decision and followed it through: I decided to detox my life! For the past 3 years I refused to live in a bubble, I assumed it would be a sort of betrayal to my values…

Editor’s Note – September/October 2013

We sat on this issue right before the violence and constant unrest swept the country. Somehow we were lost in the middle of the June 30th aftermath and torn between binaries, good and evil and the double standards that have surfaced blatantly like oil on water.   The violence that swept the country like a…

Hidden Beauties

Premiered and awarded at the Abu Dhabi Film Fest 2012 “Manmutesh” or Hidden Beauties, directed by award-winning director Nouri Bouzid, is the story of two young women in the aftermath of the Tunisian revolution.   Zeinab (Nour Mziou) and Aisha (Sohir Ben Amara) are best friends and stuck in the turmoil of the revolution, where…

The Patience Stone

As part of the New Horizons Competition at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Film Fest, director Atiq Rahimi presented “The Patience Stone” based on his bestselling novel.    Set in the backdrop of torn up Afghanistan under Taliban rule, a woman tries to take care of her comatose husband in midst arousing conflicts. Having been under…

Editor’s Note – March/April 2013

7 years have passed since the first issue of What Women Want…Magazine has been released. Looking back at these 7 years I am filled with pride, joy and empowerment. I feel overwhelming gratitude in having the luxury to wake up every day to something I really love doing. I feel thankful towards my beyond fantastic…

Editor’s Note – May/June 2013

For the past two years my life was somewhat on hold, in a certainstagnant phase, like a twilight zone.  Everything we believed in and fought for in the past two years of the revolution and its aftermath was slowly fading away and turning into an undefined thing in a vegetative state. A vegetable.   I…

Editor’s Note – January/February 2013

We are not in the best of times. Actually we really in deep, deep shit. With a government that is worse then the one toppled, religious fascism on the rise, police brutality, torture, killings, systematic gang rape and an economy going down the drain, the current situation is beyond nasty.   Now, most of us…

Mona Zaki – Egypt’s Sweetheart

  The last time we saw Mona Zaki on the silver screen was as Shafika in the romantic comedy “Taymour & Shafika” alongside Ahmed El Sakka. Totally slimmed down and beautiful as ever she mesmerized the audience with her outstanding performance and once again proved that she has what it takes.   Being a superstar,…

Where do we go now?

Nadine Labaki’s second feature film is absolutely heartbreakingly stunning. It is a more than worthy follower to her award wining debut “Caramel”. Now she is back with a sensational film that won the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival 2011 and premiered at the Cannes Film Fest 2011. Tucked away in the…

Basma – the star from next door

I met Basma over a diet coke and orange juice at Mint Café chit chatting about her life, career and aspirations. Her girl-from-next-door charms are real and not a role she puts on when the lights go on. I must say that I was amazed about how natural and genuinely friendly she is. Basma is…

Julianne Moore Hollywood’s Finest

Julianne Moore is one of a kind, she is fifty and fabulous. Her track record of character roles as multi-faceted as herself  have established Julianne Moore a front row seat on the Olympus of  Hollywood’s finest.  We met up with Julianne Moore at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last month for a chat about her…

Living Skin

‘Living Skin’ is the first feature documentary for young director Fawzi Saleh that has received a Special Mention with a monetary reward at the fourth Abu Dhabi Film Festival last month.   It tells the story of a group of boys with ages ranging from 12-17 years who are stuck in the leather tanneries of…

Entertain your relationship!

Time passes them by and suddenly the butterflies are gone, the first kiss feeling has vanished and step by step everything is taken for granted and altered into a routine. Every relationship is bound to undergo this phase, why not be ready for it and prevent boredom to sneak in our lives? There are many…

Compatibility in a relationship- making it work

A healthy and harmonious relationship between a man and a woman should consist of love and respect. When taking a closer look it is inevitable that there is more to a relationship than love. Compatibility and understanding are crucial for a couple to survive the daily commodities of life. Some couples spend their entire relationship…

Deep Vein Thrombosis

The symptoms can be described as a very bad muscle pain, as if you had a tough work-out at the Gym. Due to my self-diagnosed cold in my bones it turned out that I was already having a thrombus for three days that kept moving in my vein until it clogged the vein in my…

Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets, screened in the narrative competition at the MEIFF in Abu Dhabi last October, is Tunisian cinema at its finest, a dark fairy tale that tells the story of oppression, tyranny and rebellion. Aicha, excellently played by rising Hafsia Herzi, who won the French César's Most Promising Young Actress Award for The Secret of…

Return Point

Starring Nour and Sherif Mounir alongside Heidi Karam and Mohamed Soliman, I am sure that this feature film shall be a turning point for the careers of the whole cast. Nour gave an astonishingly matured performance surprising the audience with yet another unexpected role widening her repertoire. She plays the caring wife of Sherif Mounir,…

Heliopolis

Abdullah narrates the story of contemporary Egypt that he sees and feels in a simple and sincere manner reflected by the parallel lives of five different young people who are supposedly in the making of their life paths, yet stuck in a “New Egypt”, which is the Arabic name for Heliopolis. One day in the…

Menna Shalaby – La Femme Fatale du Cinema

Femme Fatale meets tomboy is how I would describe Menna Shalaby, who is equal parts angelically beautiful and daringly bold.Menna Shalaby is a household name that fills cinemas and living room couches alike. She is the kind of gal who speaks her mind – regardless - and is very much likeable for that true ‘girl-next-door-meets-femme-fatale’…

Not only Scheherazade tells a story…

Yousri Nasrallah's "Ehky ya Scheherazade" exposes the maladies of the double standard society of contemporary Egypt that dictates the human relations between men and women. Through Heba, portrayed by Mona Zaki, a successful and beautiful anchor woman, the tales of oppressed women of various walks of life are narrated in times of socio-political commotion. All…

Arwa Gouda – Crazy, Sexy, Cool

I met Arwa on the set of “El Watar”, her new film co-starring Ghada Adel and directed by Magdy El Hawary. With a marketing degree and a Best Model of the World tiara Arwa is no newbie to show business. With four movies released and one more to finish this year Arwa deserves to be…

Faty – A Rising Star

Faty, 22 years, realized her musical talent at a young age, "Back in Morocco I used to sing at home all the time and a friend of the family, by coincidence an Egyptian music composer (Tawfik Helmy) encouraged me to take on the singing path", Faty tells us, which she did and soon began to…

Ghaith Al Lawzy ? Ghost Factory

Zein and his friends spend their entire time numbed by alcohol, drugs and anti-depressants. Coming from extremely wealthy yet broken families could have served as a cliché yet in Ghost Factory all clichés are over thrown by a new kind of insight into the screwed minds of this existent group of youth. Zein and his…

Bushra On Life, Cinema and the Future

When Bushra enters a room she instantly fills it. Her charms, paired with determination and character, are what make this Superwoman so sympathetic and very much likable. With an established music career, filmmaking and acting, Bushra gives the words Superwoman and artist a whole new meaning. With her latest single on the market, receiving awards…

Hend Sabry A League of Her Own

Hend Sabry embodies so much more than an ambitious young woman who has worked her way to ultimate stardom; she stands for persistence, intellect and grace. Her incredibly charismatic appearance and talent has captured cinema lovers and filmmakers alike. With both feet on the ground and her head up high she is one hell of…

Messages from the Sea

After an eight year break acclaimed director Dawood Abdel Sayed returned with another milestone in Egyptian cinema. “Rasayel El Bahr” (“Messages from the Sea”) is his latest ode to a bygone heyday of a cosmopolitan era reminiscent in every corner of Alexandria where the plot is located. It recaptures the notion of the long gone…

Asser Yassin – Rebel with a Cause

 Smart, wild and handsome is this new young bundle of talent called Asser Yassin. With passion and dedication yet with utmost respect for his profession Asser rose like a phoenix from the ashes and captured our attention on the silver screen. During his studies at AUC, majoring mechanical engineering, he discovered his devotion for acting…

Civic Duty – Know Thy Neighbor

The thriller evolves around the terrorism paranoia of the contemporary state of mind of United States citizens in the aftermath of 9/11 and current incidents. Terry Allen (Peter Krause) is a model American citizen with a wife, mortgage and a good steady job as an accountant. After losing his job Allen finds himself obsessing with…

Asmaa – A story of Courage, Faith and Dignity

Asmaa is the story of a middle-aged Egyptian woman who lives with her father and only daughter in a poor Cairo district. Struck by poverty and the pressure of raising a teenage daughter in Cairo’s tough reality, are not her only worries, for we learn that she is HIV positive, which is her dark secret.…

Entrepreneur of the month

I started in an agency called DMB&B that later became Darcy. I was there for a summer job working in the art department in my first year of university. I was more like a runner, a helping hand. It was supposed to be a summer job, yet ended for me being there for two years…

Nour tells it all…

We were introduced to Nour through TV commercials a few years ago, for which she was casted through an agency in Lebanon during her studies at university. "I accompanied my friends to a casting and by chance I was offered to do a TV commercial in Egypt, I thought why not and gave it a…