Mushira El Haggar, Daughter to legendary Singer Ali El Haggar, has discovered the secret many long to disclose, and usually fail to attain. She’s become a citizen of nowhere; her roots will always be Egyptian born, bred and grounded, but her soul belongs to Sinai, Ras Sudr and anywhere as magical. A refreshing deviation for the norm nowadays, we sat with Mushira to find out how satisfied she is with keeping a small business, leading a stress-free life and her secret to inner peace.
1. You’re a woman who bravely chose to let go of “the norm” and live an unconventional life. How did that come to be? What inspired you?
Surprisingly, nothing inspired me. I felt like I need to change something. I was bored of the typical city life and going out became boring and repetitive. I don’t like cafes, and I don’t smoke or drink so I’m not a nightlife person. I especially don’t like wasting time on unproductive things. I always wanted to try kite surfing back in 2010 and no one was encouraging at the time, but I went anyway. I felt like this was my thing and it really does get you out of any mood you’re in. when you’re there you think about nothing but the sea and how in reality, you can get by on so little.
2. What has living in a rural spot like Ras Sudr taught you?
Visiting Sinai in General makes you discover a lot about yourself. When I’m there I feel like I don’t need to go back to the city ever again. I forget my phone and the entire world. I appreciate the simpler pleasures in life, living out of just the bag that I came in with. I’m in my natural habitat where there are no restrictions and nothing to hold me back. I don’t need fancy food or clothing or traffic, I can discover myself without the white noise.
3. Why did you choose to stay within Egypt knowing that you would find more people with similar mentalities abroad?
Honestly, I’ve never tried living abroad, but when I visited Dubai I wasn’t impressed at all. On the contrary, I felt like something was completely off. Air conditioning everywhere and skyscrapers on every corner; all the outings are malls and clubs and you’re always confined within the concrete. I realized how much I love Egypt; Egypt has this healing power. I found myself in Sinai.
4. The life you’ve chosen for yourself might be stress-free, but how satisfying is it? Do you sometimes miss the hectic parts of life?
No, never. When I got bored from kite surfing I switched to windsurfing. The key is to do what you love and believe is your passion, until it’s time to find your new passion. When I first became a jewelry designer, my parents were completely against it. I was a Graphic Designer before that and I hated it. I hated the traffic on the way and the office hours; I’m an artist, I have to be in a good mood to draw and be creative. I became someone else. When my parents came to Ras Sudr for the first time, they loved it and even they started encouraging me. It’s already very hard as a woman to find yourself in a Middle Eastern society, so if you happen to stumble upon discovering yourself never let that go.
5. Do you have any career aspirations?
I don’t plan. I hate planning. I like living one day at a time because I don’t like the pressure of having commitments; it kills creativity. I design jewelry for my brand Mousha’z when I’m in Cairo, and sometimes I bring along some of the work and finish it by the beach. Regarding aspirations, I don’t believe that just because I have a product I should keep trying to make it bigger. Sometimes, the simpler the better. What I love about my work is that I do everything by myself, and this is what gives me the satisfaction. I like my life like this, I’m extremely happy, satisfied and, I take life as it comes.
6. You come from a multi-talented family, have you ever considered a career that follows in their footsteps?
At first yes, I wanted to sing and I played the piano. I also played the Lute but I stopped because it was more me trying to challenge myself rather than a passion. My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a Vocal professor and he taught me. My father was worried about me entering the field, and when I grew up I decided for myself that this field came with a lot of hassle and wasn’t suitable for my character. Besides, I’m already really proud of my brother and father!
7. What do you think are the most important factors of life?
Appreciation; Most of us take life for granted or we forget that we’re blessed in so many things while other people aren’t. I learned that after the contrast of sleeping in a hut one day, and in my private room the next.
Discovering yourself is also really important for you to be at peace with yourself. Some people live for years without knowing who they are. Sometimes you just have to unplug from everything you’re doing, be it a bad job, a bad relationship or even a bad day. Don’t be afraid to let go. It also goes without saying that believing in what you love and following your heart is priceless.