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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 

This month, the WILL Summit is  returning in a new digital format, with the ever-present goal of channeling the voices of female changemakers and celebrating the achievements of Arab women like Hend Sabri. The WILL initiative was launched in 2019 and established by our publisher Nervora with the support of UN Women and the General Women’s Union to break down barriers of gender stereotypes towards women. The second edition of the empowering event will be held in collaboration with Mastercard.

Taking place virtually on May 19 at 2pm GST, the WILL Summit can be tuned in via Zoom, Facebook, and Twitter. To register, visit Willinitiative.org.

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 

Journey Through Jaipur, the ‘Pink City’, in Celebration of This Season’s Buzziest Color

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Hello, Jaipur! This summer, Vogue Arabia—and a team of Indian and Arab creatives—took over the streets of the ‘Pink City’ in celebration of the season’s most adored hue. Join Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur, rising models Nour Rizk from Lebanon, and Maumita from India on this journey, dripping with love for the color, the culture, and above all, the fashion.

Fashion director: Amine Jreissati
Videography: Gorkey Patwal, Pulkit Karla
Hair and makeup: Kritika Gill
Production: Ankita Chandra, Sam Allison
On-ground production: Film and Locations India, Mithika Gaekwad, Harshaeta Singh
Models: Nour Rizk, Maumita

Get Ready with Salma Abu Deif for Her First Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet

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Before making her first-ever red carpet appearance at Cannes Film Festival, Salma Abu Deif gave Vogue Arabia an exclusive sneak peek behind her look. The Egyptian actor opted for a bold black dress by Pinko, paired with glittering Chopard jewelry, while her beauty look featured sleek hair and a bright red pout.

Watch the video above as Abu Deif shows us how she got ready for the big day.

Production: Koral Communication

Amina Muaddi, Huda Kattan, and Nadine Nassib Njeim in Conversation with Manuel Arnaut

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Behind the scenes of our March 2022 cover was the usual bustle of a Vogue shoot combined with the thrill of our 5th anniversary, which only increased twofold as the three cover stars sat down for a conversation with Manuel Arnaut. The editor-in-chief spoke to accessories designer Amina Muaddi, beauty mogul Huda Kattan, and actor Nadine Nassib Njeim about growing up Arab, the struggles they overcame as women in their industries, what their incredible success feels like, and much more.

Keeping with the celebration of Middle Eastern women representing the region on a global stage in our latest issue, Arnaut began by asking Kattan what makes Arab women unique. “Having grown up outside the Middle East and moving here later on, I was so amazed by the strength and creativity in Arab women,” said the Iraqi-US entrepreneur. “I actually find them to be so passionate and so creative.” Nassib Njeim said, “Now, Arab women are more dedicated to their goals. They want to achieve their dreams. They don’t accept boundaries anymore even though they respect the culture, traditions, and religion. They are proving themselves in many, many fields.” Having lived outside of the Middle East for the majority of her life, Muaddi shared that people were often curious about her heritage. “Usually people are surprised and find it different that I am half-Jordanian-half -Romanian and work in fashion,” she said. “I am so connected to Italy and France but still very very rooted where I come from.”

The world has witnessed the three women achieve great heights in their careers, however, they reveal that a grounded mindset is key to prospering. “Maintaining a scrappy, self-starting type of attitude is very important to get things done,” advises Kattan, who feels only gratitude for her community upon seeing herself in beauty stores across the world. Muaddi adds that she still feels excited when stars including Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian, wear her shoes. She says, “It’s fundamental to keep that excitement, to keep feeling like you still haven’t achieved what you wanted to, and to be grateful for what you have.” Nassib Njeim, whose moving performances in TV and cinema have touched and inspired so many over the years, shares that she keeps on challenging herself. “When you work with passion, and you have big dreams, and still consider that you are learning, you will always give your best,” she says.

The conversation takes a deep dive into some of the more challenging times in their lives, such as when Nassib Njeim underwent seven hours of surgery due to the Beirut port blast.”Now I’m more attached to my life, to my kids, and to making my dreams come true,” she says when asked about how the tragic incident changed her. The cover stars also discuss living their public lives, how they deal with hate, the best part about being themselves, and their goals for the next five years.

Watch the video above for the full conversation.

Inside Vogue Arabia’s Biggest Issue Ever Celebrating Our 5th Anniversary

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What better way to celebrate our 5th anniversary than by producing our biggest issue ever with 500 pages, and packing them with inspiring and empowering content? Vogue Arabia’s March 2022 issue holds the deeply personal cover stories of three powerhouse Arab women: Amina Muaddi, Huda Kattan, and Nadine Nassib Njeim, and the theme of Arab women taking charge and representing the region on a world stage.

The anniversary issue features conservationist Dame Jane Goodall in conversation with sustainability editor-at-large Livia Firth, talking about why there are still reasons to hope in a world filled with uncertainty. In another inspiring feature, lifelong friends Farida Khelfa and Carla Bruni model the latest couture, while French actor Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu – the iconic Emily in Paris villain – further defies age conventions while showcasing the season’s most striking looks. The edition also salutes Aquazzura on its 10th year in a special shoot with Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark, and includes celebratory stories about fashion, entrepreneurs, rising stars, and the region’s biggest talents. Along with all that, the March 2022 issue also shines a spotlight on the new Saudi musicians to listen to now, while model and social entrepreneur Elisa Sednaoui Dellal finally finds her way home to Egypt after two years of a pandemic-enforced separation, in a moving feature where she visits, for the first time ever, one of her architect father’s most personal projects. 

Discover all this and much more in a special teaser video of the issue above, set to the catchy new track ‘Ala Bali’ by Palestinian singer Elyanna, who is also featured in the issue.

Watch Emirati Entrepreneur Salama Mohamed Reveal Her Style Superstars, from a Vintage Rolex to Her First Louboutins

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We all have a few treasures in our wardrobes that have either seen the worst and best parts of our lives, have taken a great deal of saving up, or were purchases to come out of a ‘treat yourself’ moment. Whatever the story behind a piece may be, it needs to be told, and what better way than to have them take the spotlight in Vogue Arabia’s brand new video series, ‘My Style Superstars’?

First up, Emirati CEO and founder of skincare brand Peacefull, Salama Mohamed sits down to reveal the four items closest to her heart. Bringing out her vintage Rolex watch she says, “It’s very very old. When I saw it, I bought it for my birthday. One day I’m going to give it to my daughter.” The mother-of-two goes on to share that she gifted herself a pair of black Christian Louboutin pumps after giving birth to her son Khalifa. “It just gave me confidence and the feeling that I can do everything with a nice pair of Louboutins,” she confides. Mohamed also owns two special handbags with significant memories attached to them: a monogrammed Goyard, and a brown Hermès. Watch the video above to know the stories behind them, and stay tuned for more episodes from the series.

Watch Diala Makki Reveal Her Style Superstars, from Her Late Grandmother’s Necklace to a Bisht By Stéphane Rolland

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In the latest episode of ‘My Style Superstars’, TV presenter and journalist Diala Makki takes Vogue Arabia through the most cherished items in her closet.

Proving the power of jewelry that has passed through generations, the first piece revealed by Makki is a gold necklace that is over 100 years old. “I only wear it when I want some positive energy or when I’m about to venture into something new, and I want the protection of my grandmother, may she rest in peace,” confides Makki. The second item—a Class of 2021 cap from her third graduation—comes with an inspiring message from Makki, who completed her second master’s degree, in leadership in media. “It has been a wonderful achievement for myself,” shares Makki. “I really advise all women during different stages in their careers to go back to school. It’s very difficult for them to go back to that sense of discipline, but it taught me a lot, and I think I’m a completely different woman after I graduated.” The third piece is a special bisht with gold threads that was designed by Makki’s friend and renowned designer Stéphane Rolland. “I wore this bisht once, and it is very very dear to me because it was gifted by him,” says the presenter.

Watch the video above for more on what makes these items so special to Makki, and stayed tuned for more episodes.

Watch Zainab Al-Eqabi Reveal Her Style Superstars, from a Graduation Gift to Her Mother’s Necklace

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In the next episode of ‘My Style Superstars’, Zainab Al-Eqabi reveals her wardrobe’s most prized possessions, some of which happen to be gifts given at the most important points in her life.

First up, the para-athlete and presenter brings out her mother’s necklace which once belonged to her grandmother, and was later split into different pieces to be shared with her siblings. “It’s nice to know that I have the same necklace as my sisters,” she shares. Al-Eqabi also holds another jewelry piece gifted by her mother close to her heart. Given to her before she embarked on a year-long master’s course in the UK, the ring features the kahraman stone and served as a reminder of her mother while she was away from home. Al-Eqabi’s next item is sure to strike a chord with all those who have special memories of their first solo travel. Bought at a local Parisian shop during one of her first trips to the city, the bag marked a moment of celebration for Al-Eqabi’s independence. Al-Eqabi treated herself to another bag growing up—this time, after completing her master’s degree, “to tell myself that women should dream, and work hard to achieve their goals.”

Watch the video above to hear all the stories attached to the sentimental pieces in Al-Eqabi’s closet.

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 

This month, the WILL Summit is  returning in a new digital format, with the ever-present goal of channeling the voices of female changemakers and celebrating the achievements of Arab women like Hend Sabri. The WILL initiative was launched in 2019 and established by our publisher Nervora with the support of UN Women and the General Women’s Union to break down barriers of gender stereotypes towards women. The second edition of the empowering event will be held in collaboration with Mastercard.

Taking place virtually on May 19 at 2pm GST, the WILL Summit can be tuned in via Zoom, Facebook, and Twitter. To register, visit Willinitiative.org.

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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