Zeinab, what brings you to Cannes this year?
Zeinab Bashier: I attend the festival for many years now. This May, I was invited to the opening ceremony and to participate in cultural and artistic events that allow me to promote Egypt on the international scene. The Egyptian and French cultures have many points in common and I work on bringing the two countries closer to one another. I want to exhibit French and international artists in Egyptian museums and to promote my country as a destination for arts.
What is a project you are currently working on?
Zeinab Bashier: I do work on various projects related to sustainable development across different levels; the environment, women’s rights, youth, and individuals with special needs. For now, and with my foundation We Love Egypt, I am focusing on the United Nations’ COP27, which will be held in Egypt this November. We will work on youth development projects and organize boot camps for students from Egyptian universities throughout a week to spread awareness about renewable energies, all the trends in the technology and the environmental sector, the new measures, and restrictions.
Tell us more about your role in combating Women’s Rights in Egypt?
Zeinab Bashier: Egypt is pushing for women’s rights on a daily basis. I truly believe that we are living in the golden age of women in Egypt. The Egyptian lady is given opportunities on a governmental and private level and has new rules and regulations that protect her from harassment and marginalization.
Through my organization, I manage courses that allow women to learn how to sew in order to establish their independent source of income. For example, during the latest Mother’s Day, we gifted ladies sewing machines so they can launch their own business from home.
And what are some of your upcoming projects?
Zeinab Bashier: Very soon I will be working with the Egyptian Foundation for Scientific Research which is conducting studies about how food can cure cancer, hereditary diseases, and disorders. We help in financing these research initiatives. Food sustainability is important for age longevity and we need to improve awareness about the effects of a diet on our health and lifestyle. Together we will do campaigns in schools to fight malnutrition and obesity.
Finally, what does Egypt represent to you?
Zeinab Bashier: I feel very proud to be Egyptian. Every time I mention my nationality, I see a spark in people’s eyes. Individuals from around the world appreciate our history and civilization. And I would like to mention that modern developments in Egypt are equally important. Our economy is stronger than ever, and the country is evolving on a social level where women are becoming at the forefront of it all.
Pictures: Stephane Gendre