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Vogue September Cover: Hend Sabri On The Importance Of Women’s Rights In The Arab World

Award-winning Tunisian actor Hend Sabri believes in the freedom of Arab women and strives to defend their rights.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears coat, Maison Rabih Kayrouz; shoes, Ramla; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri is full of enthusiasm when she arrives at Nazlet Al-Samman in Egypt, a popular area near the Great Pyramids characterized by its simplicity. Her optimism increases when calligrapher Hend Riad arrives holding a large roll-out hand-painted with the words “break the silence,” which she wrote in collaboration with the star. Sabri considers it the best expression of her aspirations. She believes that only hope revives people, illuminates our present and our future, and urges us to move forward. “Hope is my daughters Alia and Leila,” she says, adding that the sheer act of giving birth requires a promise for tomorrow.

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Yet, Sabri speaks with pain when conversing about hope, the theme of this September issue. “2020 is really the year of ‘enough is enough.’ I pray that I will be able to erase it from my memory.” She believes that the world is experiencing a long rebirth and is certain that good will prevail. Sabri talks about human values and their roles in society. “True religion is the real deterrent and belief in the essence is what we need. Faith means that we stop hurting, backbiting, stealing, and disrespecting others. Religion is the appreciation of men in general and women in particular. Respect the rights it grants her and stop making judgments based on appearance. Religion exists in everyday practices.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears dress, Donia Ashry; shoes, Bottega Veneta. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Sabri’s words shed light on her philanthropic activities, particularly those that concern women and the environment. She is known for playing meaningful characters that convey a social message because she truly believes that art can make a difference. “Society listens to artists and is influenced by them,” she says. “I am not saying that my job as an actor is more important than that of a scientist whose work is not widely recognized. Honesty is what is most important; no matter what role an individual plays in society.”

Currently the star is resuming filming the Hajma Mortada series under director Ahmed Alaa and with her friend Ahmed Ezz. She is also working on Kira and the Jinn, a film by Marwan Hamed, written by Ahmed Murad, and starring Ezz and Kareem Abdel Aziz. In October, she will start filming an Algerian-French movie. It’s a busy agenda for an artist who seeks to use her fame to champion values and have her voice heard. Sabri made her acting debut at the age of 14 in the critically acclaimed Tunisian production The Silences of the Palace (Samt al Qosoor) by director Moufida Tlatli in 1994, which was screened as part of that year’s Cannes film festival Directors’ Fortnight. It has also subsequently been listed as one of the Dubai international film festival’s 100 most important Arab films. Following this, she starred in several Tunisian productions until she drew the attention of director Inas El- Degheidy, who introduced her to Egyptian cinema with A Teenager’s Diary (Muzakirat Murahiqua) in 2002. In a short time, she became one of the most prominent Tunisian actors in Egypt and the Arab world.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears dress, Donia Ashry; shoes, Bottega Veneta. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Sabri recently joined streaming giant Netflix. “I’m so proud and excited to be the first Arab artist to sign with this network as an executive producer and starring in a show,” she expresses. “Going global is achieved through immersion in what is local. It is a matter of choices.” She’s also been chosen as a jury member at major international festivals, including Venice in 2019 – where she was the first Arab woman to join the jury – and Rotterdam in 2016. “They found an authentic expression of Arab women in my work,” she says. “I have frequently participated over the years where I introduced so many ideas,” she recalls, adding that she hopes the festival circuit will resume next year.

Also Read: Vogue.me Investigates: Why Does Egypt Have A Problem With Rape?

The star has recently used her social media platform to raise awareness about harassment, because she felt that women needed empowerment in this regard and that someone should open a dialogue to encourage victims to talk in public about their experiences. “I am against this heinous offense. Harassment is a crime,” she asserts. “It is necessary to educate young people and encourage girls to break the barrier of fear and expose the perpetrators. In law, to describe an incident as a crime, there must be a victim. When she is silent, the misconduct cannot be legally documented and will remain a social problem. Women must contribute to the documentation of delinquency in order to build a system that legally protects them. This requires courage, which in turn calls for a healthy society and the support of others, whether family or community, and this is what is lacking. Women are afraid of men, which paves the way for harassment and makes it permissible for men whose mistakes are forgiven by the people.” Sabri is well-versed on the subject of justice as she received her license from the University of Tunis in 2001 and earned a master’s degree in intellectual property law and copyright in 2004.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Donia Ashry; Skirt, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; scarf, Rebel; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

According to a 2013 study by UN Women in Egypt, 99.3% of the women surveyed had experienced some sort of harassment, ranging from being touched to verbal abuse, rape, stalking. The report also noted that 30% of the men surveyed gave their reason for pestering a female as “the girl feels happy when harassed.” “Years ago, I thought that it was still too early to address this issue,” says Sabri. “Today it seems to me that the time has come for victims to speak up. The more women there are who are willing to talk about their experiences, the stronger the issue becomes. At the same time, we must organize things to unify our words and stances.” The Ana Zada platform meaning “me too,” has since been created on Instagram. It aims to gather various opinions to form a pressure force to change laws. The star acts as liaison between women and the concerned parties interested in this issue. She provided a video to support them and was keen to promote them on various occasions. “I cannot say that I have achieved anything,” she notes. “This issue cannot be solved by one person, it requires community, legal, and political cooperation. Individual action in this field is like fighting windmills,” she says. “The only thing that can change the system is social awareness and spreading the slogan ‘No means no’ to everyone, which requires raising your voice without hesitation. It does not help to remain silent while urging others to speak about their experiences. It is enough for one to speak bravely so that other women do the same.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Hend’s own; skirt, scarf, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Accountability starts with enacting and enforcing laws that protect women and describe the crime. “It’s not acceptable that bothering girls on the streets goes unnoticed, because it is a form of harassment. We must not overlook any vulgar form of pestering or touching, which could hurt women,” states Sabri. The star has adopted several approaches to communicate her thoughts, including in the 2010 sitcom Ayza Atgawez (I Want to Get Married), which candidly addressed the issue of young girls getting married. She also starred in Halawet Eldonia (The Sweetness of Life) as a cancer patient – one of her most beloved characters to date, she notes.

Also Read: Vogue.me Investigates: The Surge In Domestic Violence Cases During Covid-19

Sabri is one of a handful of public women who promoted the uprising in the Arab world. “I wasn’t afraid to lose my fan base – particularly males – for promoting women uprising. I’m defending their rights here. I’m not calling for usurping those of others. I have a dream of realizing equality between men and women in Arab societies. I hope that we can enjoy the highest levels of equality like women in Scandinavian societies,” she says, acknowledging that there is still much work to be done to achieve this. As a mother and wife, she is focused on her family and credits her choice of partner for contributing to its strength. “He is a very respectable man who values women,” she says of her husband, a businessman who is not part of the entertainment industry, preferring to stay out of the limelight. “The man who appreciates and respects his mother will respect any other woman.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Hend’s own; skirt, scarf, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; shoes, Bottega Veneta; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Their relationship is based on mutual esteem and commitment to rules, including respecting her work and her responsibilities. As for her children, she instills within them important values like independence, self-confidence, and valuing the customs and traditions with which she was raised. She is keen to teach her daughters to empathize with others, to be kind, to love, to learn, and to contribute. From her point of view, such values bridge gaps and help build a sound society where people do not judge one another based on appearance or religion. She also hopes to continue to introduce the Arab woman with all her fears, pains, troubles, and joys through her art. She aspires to serve the Arab world and to raise her daughters in a manner that will secure them a better future.

Read Next: Hend Sabri on Being Discovered as a Teenager and the Perception of Arab Cinema with Manuel Arnaut

Originally published in the September 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia 

 

Photography: Ämr Ezzeldinn 
Styling: Yasmine Eissa 
Hair: Ahmed Mounir 
Makeup: Aya Abdalhamid
Video: Muhammad Gamaleldin  
Video Edit: Hue Studios  
Stylist Assistant: Habiba Rahoum 
Set Designer: Noor Satea 
Calligrapher: Negmedine 
Fabrics: Yara Ismail 
Sustainable Textile Designer: Kiliim 
Location: The Cheops Observatory by Studio Malka Architecture
Production: Snap14 Productions Production agency 

This Poignant Conversation of Dr. Sara Al Madani and Her Mother Will Make You Call Your Mom Right Now

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Perfumes are so deeply personal, and have the power to trigger emotions and evoke memories of cherished moments and relationships in your life. And what’s more significant than the special bond between a daughter and her mother? Do you recall your earliest memory with the most important woman in your life? Is it her smile, her touch, or her smell? Rasasi, the family-owned, Middle Eastern perfume house, with 40 years of mastery in perfumery, certainly understands the importance of the extraordinary bond a daughter shares with her mother, celebrating the unique relationship through their iconic line-up of fragrances.

In the sweet video above, ahead of Mother’s Day (March 21), Emirati entrepreneur Dr. Sara Al Madani and her mother open up about the significant role fragrance plays in Arab culture, passing down timeless scents through generations, and their favorite perfume from Rasasi’s inimitable range of fragrances.

Now Read: These Celebrities Can Prove That Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Here’s How To Add Some Color To Your Smokey Eye Makeup

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Toni Malt, the Middle East‘s leading international editorial makeup artist, author of makeup book Transform and owner of the prestigious Toni Malt Makeup Academy, shares her expertise in the first part of a series of educational and inspiring ‘how to’ make up tutorials designed specifically for Vogue Arabia’s readers.

Curated as a clever step by step guide to achieving the most sought after looks from the season at home, Toni guides us through a bold, feline, metallic smokey eye with insider tips and knowledge taken from her exclusive masterclasses.

Now Read: 7 Easy Practices To Help You Keep Track of Your Health This Year

Model: Tatyana B at Wilhelmina Dubai
Video: Jules Bek
Makeup assistant: Miriam Cavallin at Toni Malt Academy

Behind-the-Scenes of Ciara’s First Ever Vogue Cover

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Did you know that prior to Vogue Arabia’s Spring 2019 cover shoot, Ciara was afraid of horses? “It’s funny because growing up I loved horses, and I always admired their beauty,” the star says recalling the nightmarish incident when she lost control of her ride during a horseback-riding excursion on the beach. “When my ride decided to take off and gallop in another direction, I saw my entire life flashing in front of my eyes,” she states. The star certainly got the chance to overcome that phobia in the February 2019 issue. Wearing a bohemian Saint Laurent dress, with her long, black hair flowing in the wind, Ciara takes control of two magnificent stallions belonging to UAE royal HH Sheikha Fatima Rashed Al Maktoum.

It’s the Grammy award-winning singer’s first Vogue cover, one that she is undoubtedly proud of. “This shoot was a dream. I overcame my fears of working with horses again too! So proud. God is good,” she wrote on Twitter when the English and Arabic covers were unveiled this week.

Indeed, the 33-year-old has plenty to be proud of. But the certified hitmaker — her debut single Goodies went triple platinum — counts motherhood as her biggest accomplishment of all. “I am an only child, so I always had a strong desire to have siblings, and that triggered my will to have more kids. They are an extension of my legacy and they keep me young. Motherhood definitely gives you a new conscience. My kids help me to feel motivated and keep things in perspective,” said the mother of Future, four and Sienna, one. “Seeing my kids dancing to my music or hearing my husband saying he is proud of me makes me feel accomplished,” she admits.

In the breathtaking 50-second clip above, the singer runs up a dune in a frothy Molly Goddard gown and Alexandre Vauthier hat, tames horses, and poses, barefoot in the Arabian desert. Don’t forget to pick up your issue of the magazine when it hits shelves on February 1 to read the full interview.

Now Read: Riding High on Style, Ciara Lands Her First Vogue Cover

Videographer: Hyku Desesto
Fashion Director: Katie Trotter
Production: Snap14
Hair: Cesar Ramirez
Makeup: Niki M’nray

These Celebrities Can Prove That Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

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Last month, Vogue Arabia hosted the inaugural Ball of Arabia, a high profile charity gala hosted in partnership with Tiffany & Co. at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. The glamorous event, which helped to raise funds for UNICEF’s Girls Education and Empowerment Program in the MENA region, was attended by the likes of Middle Eastern royalty, regional and international celebrities, as well as fashion insiders including Mohamed Hadid, Maya Diab, Lara Stone, and Yasmine Sabri. Meanwhile, entertainment was provided by superstar singer Ciara. In the video above, Maritta Hallani, Lara Scandar, Aram Kabbani, and Salma Abu Deif showcase some of the luxury jeweler’s most dazzling designs in celebration of the Ball of Arabia. After all, diamonds are a girls best friend.

Video: Photo Boutique
Production: Snap Fourteen
Hair: Diego Miranda
Makeup: Soha Khoury
Choreography: Shaymaa Shoukry
Styling: Bosaina

 

This Egyptian-Lebanese Photographer’s New Fashion Film is An Ode to Dubai and New York

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Finding MĀ is finding oneself between here and there. The journey between space and time. It is the cross roads of two cities I lived,” explains award-winning fashion photographer Toufic Araman of his latest video project produced in collaboration with Vogue Arabia. “MĀ refers to rooms, as well as spaces between structures,” he states. The Egyptian-Lebanese photographer, who splits his time between New York and Dubai, rounded up a crew of ultra-talented creatives that included stylists, poets, sound composers, editors, among others to realize this vision of wanderlust, which translated into a beautiful fashion film that flawlessly captures the similarities (and differences) of the two cities he calls home. Watch the striking clip above.

Production
Director: Toufic Araman
Director of Photography: Erik Swain
Stylist: Newheart Ohanian
Model: Dalianah Arekion, New York Model Management
Poetry: Christina Andreassen
Editor: Lucas Fossati
Producer: Gabriel Montagnani
Hair: Shintaro Teraoka
Makeup: Ana Sequira
Sound Composer and Design: Kevin Pollard
Voice: Mylène Gomera
Casting Director: Barbara Pfister

Wardrobe
Look 1
DsQuared Ruffled dress; Christian Siriano dress; DsQuared neck tie; DsQuared leggings; Alexander Wang corset belt; Erickson Beamon jewelry; DsQuared shoes.

Look 2
Fendi jumpsuit; Keren Wolf headband; Giorgio Armani purse; Miu Miu shoes.

Look 3
Miu Miu coat; Miu Miu shoes; Giorgio Armani purse.

Look 4
Marc Jacobs dress; Marc Jacobs belt; Giorgio Armani boots; GBGH choker.

Look 5
Dolce and Gabbana gown; GBGH rings.

Look 6
YSL dress; Dolce & Gabbana bag; Keren Wolf bracelet; Keren Wolf earrings.

Look 7
Giorgio Armani dress; Keren Wolf earring.

Charlotte Tilbury Reveals Her Top Tips For a Flawless Complexion

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Celebrity makeup artist to the stars Charlotte Tilbury returns to share her tips and tricks for achieving a flawless complexion. “I always say if you want a beautiful painting, you have to have a beautiful canvas,” she begins. Showcasing her award-winning products she shares the iconic story behind Charlotte’s Magic Cream, to the science behind her Instant Magic Dry Sheet Mask which is the first of its kind to penetrate down to the third layer of the epidermis.

Now Watch: Charlotte Tilbury Shares her Secrets for Glowing Skin

Egyptian Icon Laila Eloui Like You Have Never Seen Her Before

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She’s acted in over 70 movies, won multiple awards, and has been honored in film festivals around the world, and at 54- Laila Eloui is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Egyptian star, who made her acting debut at the age of seven, now finds herself in front of the camera again after her last on-screen appearance on Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces two-years-ago. But this time, she’s not taking on a character or reciting lines. Above, Ämr Ezzeldinn and Mohamed Gamal capture the Egyptian icon in an alluring fashion film for the December 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia.

Credits:
Director: Amr Ezzeldinn
Videographer: Mohamed Gamal

Production
: Snap14
Stylist: Bosaina
Hair: Mike at Hair n Flair
Make up: Diana Harby
Fashion assistants: Omneya Mourshed and Lana Kovalchuk
Shot on location at Cairo Camera Studios

In the video Eloui wears crown, Dina Mourad; Dress, Love Label; Earrings, Maison 69; Rings, Ammanii; Turtleneck, Marie Louis; Jewelry, Swarovski; Jacket, Gianfranco Ferre; Fur, Gorski; Gloves Dries Van Noten, Jacket, Marie Louis; Turtleneck, Ralph Lauren; Belt, Retromania London; Earrings, Stylist’s own; Top, Maison 69.

Now Watch: How Afef Jnifen Does Milan During Fashion Week

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She’s one of fashion’s most iconic runway stars, so is well-versed in keeping pace with Fashion Week. However, this season, Afef Jnifen let Vogue.me in on just what a day during the seasonal sartorial showcase holds for the Tunisian model and actor. Inviting us to join her during Milan Fashion Week, the former Vogue Arabia cover star gave us an insight into her city highlights during a typical day. From visiting ornate boutiques to covet their many treasures to catching up with friends over a coffee, here’s what Jnifen got up to between the shows of fashion week.

Now Read: Just In: The Street Style You Can’t Miss from Milan Fashion Week

Coffee With Nardine: Shereen Reda Reveals Her Key Advice for Men

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Last week, Egypt’s El Gouna was swamped with Arab actors, directors, models, and filmmakers, who all flocked to the resort town to celebrate the second edition of the annual El Gouna Film Festival, which wrapped up on Friday night. The week-long cinematic event, which kicked off on September 20, brought with it a host of stars, who came out in full force to support Arab theater and acknowledge their fellow peers who have helped to shape it.

Hosting the closing ceremony of this year’s festival was Nardine Farag, actor and host of MBC’s The Voice. Despite the festival’s jam-packed schedule, the Egyptian star, who has worked alongside Youssra in two TV series, took a little time out to catch up with her friends on the sidelines. In collaboration with Vogue.me, Farag is quizzing some of the Arab world’s brightest stars over a cup of coffee in a four-part series.

Previous episodes have featured Tunisian star Dorra Zarrouk, Egyptian actor Amina Khalil, and Alexandria-born actress, model, and ballerina Nelly Karim, and now Shereen Reda is starring in our final installment. The Egyptian actor joined Farag over a hot beverage to reveal her top beauty tips, how she manages a hectic schedule, her dream role, and who she’d most like to meet for a cup of coffee. Watch the full video above to see exactly what Reda had to say.

Now Read: Coffee With Nardine: Nelly Karim Shares Her Post-Filming Ritual

Production: Maison Pyramide
Director: Malak El Sawi
Stylist and art director: Alia El Dessouki

September 9, 2020

Vogue September Cover: Hend Sabri On The Importance Of Women’s Rights In The Arab World

Award-winning Tunisian actor Hend Sabri believes in the freedom of Arab women and strives to defend their rights.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears coat, Maison Rabih Kayrouz; shoes, Ramla; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri is full of enthusiasm when she arrives at Nazlet Al-Samman in Egypt, a popular area near the Great Pyramids characterized by its simplicity. Her optimism increases when calligrapher Hend Riad arrives holding a large roll-out hand-painted with the words “break the silence,” which she wrote in collaboration with the star. Sabri considers it the best expression of her aspirations. She believes that only hope revives people, illuminates our present and our future, and urges us to move forward. “Hope is my daughters Alia and Leila,” she says, adding that the sheer act of giving birth requires a promise for tomorrow.

00:00 / 00:00

Yet, Sabri speaks with pain when conversing about hope, the theme of this September issue. “2020 is really the year of ‘enough is enough.’ I pray that I will be able to erase it from my memory.” She believes that the world is experiencing a long rebirth and is certain that good will prevail. Sabri talks about human values and their roles in society. “True religion is the real deterrent and belief in the essence is what we need. Faith means that we stop hurting, backbiting, stealing, and disrespecting others. Religion is the appreciation of men in general and women in particular. Respect the rights it grants her and stop making judgments based on appearance. Religion exists in everyday practices.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears dress, Donia Ashry; shoes, Bottega Veneta. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Sabri’s words shed light on her philanthropic activities, particularly those that concern women and the environment. She is known for playing meaningful characters that convey a social message because she truly believes that art can make a difference. “Society listens to artists and is influenced by them,” she says. “I am not saying that my job as an actor is more important than that of a scientist whose work is not widely recognized. Honesty is what is most important; no matter what role an individual plays in society.”

Currently the star is resuming filming the Hajma Mortada series under director Ahmed Alaa and with her friend Ahmed Ezz. She is also working on Kira and the Jinn, a film by Marwan Hamed, written by Ahmed Murad, and starring Ezz and Kareem Abdel Aziz. In October, she will start filming an Algerian-French movie. It’s a busy agenda for an artist who seeks to use her fame to champion values and have her voice heard. Sabri made her acting debut at the age of 14 in the critically acclaimed Tunisian production The Silences of the Palace (Samt al Qosoor) by director Moufida Tlatli in 1994, which was screened as part of that year’s Cannes film festival Directors’ Fortnight. It has also subsequently been listed as one of the Dubai international film festival’s 100 most important Arab films. Following this, she starred in several Tunisian productions until she drew the attention of director Inas El- Degheidy, who introduced her to Egyptian cinema with A Teenager’s Diary (Muzakirat Murahiqua) in 2002. In a short time, she became one of the most prominent Tunisian actors in Egypt and the Arab world.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears dress, Donia Ashry; shoes, Bottega Veneta. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Sabri recently joined streaming giant Netflix. “I’m so proud and excited to be the first Arab artist to sign with this network as an executive producer and starring in a show,” she expresses. “Going global is achieved through immersion in what is local. It is a matter of choices.” She’s also been chosen as a jury member at major international festivals, including Venice in 2019 – where she was the first Arab woman to join the jury – and Rotterdam in 2016. “They found an authentic expression of Arab women in my work,” she says. “I have frequently participated over the years where I introduced so many ideas,” she recalls, adding that she hopes the festival circuit will resume next year.

Also Read: Vogue.me Investigates: Why Does Egypt Have A Problem With Rape?

The star has recently used her social media platform to raise awareness about harassment, because she felt that women needed empowerment in this regard and that someone should open a dialogue to encourage victims to talk in public about their experiences. “I am against this heinous offense. Harassment is a crime,” she asserts. “It is necessary to educate young people and encourage girls to break the barrier of fear and expose the perpetrators. In law, to describe an incident as a crime, there must be a victim. When she is silent, the misconduct cannot be legally documented and will remain a social problem. Women must contribute to the documentation of delinquency in order to build a system that legally protects them. This requires courage, which in turn calls for a healthy society and the support of others, whether family or community, and this is what is lacking. Women are afraid of men, which paves the way for harassment and makes it permissible for men whose mistakes are forgiven by the people.” Sabri is well-versed on the subject of justice as she received her license from the University of Tunis in 2001 and earned a master’s degree in intellectual property law and copyright in 2004.

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Donia Ashry; Skirt, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; scarf, Rebel; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

According to a 2013 study by UN Women in Egypt, 99.3% of the women surveyed had experienced some sort of harassment, ranging from being touched to verbal abuse, rape, stalking. The report also noted that 30% of the men surveyed gave their reason for pestering a female as “the girl feels happy when harassed.” “Years ago, I thought that it was still too early to address this issue,” says Sabri. “Today it seems to me that the time has come for victims to speak up. The more women there are who are willing to talk about their experiences, the stronger the issue becomes. At the same time, we must organize things to unify our words and stances.” The Ana Zada platform meaning “me too,” has since been created on Instagram. It aims to gather various opinions to form a pressure force to change laws. The star acts as liaison between women and the concerned parties interested in this issue. She provided a video to support them and was keen to promote them on various occasions. “I cannot say that I have achieved anything,” she notes. “This issue cannot be solved by one person, it requires community, legal, and political cooperation. Individual action in this field is like fighting windmills,” she says. “The only thing that can change the system is social awareness and spreading the slogan ‘No means no’ to everyone, which requires raising your voice without hesitation. It does not help to remain silent while urging others to speak about their experiences. It is enough for one to speak bravely so that other women do the same.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Hend’s own; skirt, scarf, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Accountability starts with enacting and enforcing laws that protect women and describe the crime. “It’s not acceptable that bothering girls on the streets goes unnoticed, because it is a form of harassment. We must not overlook any vulgar form of pestering or touching, which could hurt women,” states Sabri. The star has adopted several approaches to communicate her thoughts, including in the 2010 sitcom Ayza Atgawez (I Want to Get Married), which candidly addressed the issue of young girls getting married. She also starred in Halawet Eldonia (The Sweetness of Life) as a cancer patient – one of her most beloved characters to date, she notes.

Also Read: Vogue.me Investigates: The Surge In Domestic Violence Cases During Covid-19

Sabri is one of a handful of public women who promoted the uprising in the Arab world. “I wasn’t afraid to lose my fan base – particularly males – for promoting women uprising. I’m defending their rights here. I’m not calling for usurping those of others. I have a dream of realizing equality between men and women in Arab societies. I hope that we can enjoy the highest levels of equality like women in Scandinavian societies,” she says, acknowledging that there is still much work to be done to achieve this. As a mother and wife, she is focused on her family and credits her choice of partner for contributing to its strength. “He is a very respectable man who values women,” she says of her husband, a businessman who is not part of the entertainment industry, preferring to stay out of the limelight. “The man who appreciates and respects his mother will respect any other woman.”

Hend Sabri, Vogue Arabia September 2020

Hend Sabri wears shirt, Hend’s own; skirt, scarf, stylist’s own; belt, Okhtein; shoes, Bottega Veneta; jewelry, Azza Fahmy. Photographed by Ämr Ezzeldinn for Vogue Arabia September 2020

Their relationship is based on mutual esteem and commitment to rules, including respecting her work and her responsibilities. As for her children, she instills within them important values like independence, self-confidence, and valuing the customs and traditions with which she was raised. She is keen to teach her daughters to empathize with others, to be kind, to love, to learn, and to contribute. From her point of view, such values bridge gaps and help build a sound society where people do not judge one another based on appearance or religion. She also hopes to continue to introduce the Arab woman with all her fears, pains, troubles, and joys through her art. She aspires to serve the Arab world and to raise her daughters in a manner that will secure them a better future.

Read Next: Hend Sabri on Being Discovered as a Teenager and the Perception of Arab Cinema with Manuel Arnaut

Originally published in the September 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia 

 

Photography: Ämr Ezzeldinn 
Styling: Yasmine Eissa 
Hair: Ahmed Mounir 
Makeup: Aya Abdalhamid
Video: Muhammad Gamaleldin  
Video Edit: Hue Studios  
Stylist Assistant: Habiba Rahoum 
Set Designer: Noor Satea 
Calligrapher: Negmedine 
Fabrics: Yara Ismail 
Sustainable Textile Designer: Kiliim 
Location: The Cheops Observatory by Studio Malka Architecture
Production: Snap14 Productions Production agency 

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