I have a thing for discovering people, I think we’ve got that down by now, however, this list is comprised of people y’all know and some you don’t. In this list, it doesn’t matter how “successful” a person is at their job as much as the amount of acceptance, love, and power they all radiate. All ten people on this list are hardworking, talented, and incredibly dedicated to helping our society blossom into a more accepting one, all in their own little ways. Some of them I know and love, others I’m dying to get to know, but I respect them all regardless. This is simply an appreciation post for all they do – consciously and not – to make our community not just safer, but more joyful and open to our generation. Also, I’m just blessing y’all with their accounts, you’ll thank me later.
My heart is always full of love for this one. Many of you may not know this, but I’m always inspired by Sohaila, she’s got a soul more beautiful than any I’ve ever seen. She’s dedicated to doing what she loves, she’s always kind to those around her, and she’s never full of herself. What’s most amazing about Sohaila is her ability to balance being sweet and knowing her worth, it’s something you’ll easily pick up if you follow her. She’s brutally honest, inspiring in her art, and is always available to lend an ear when someone really needs it. Following Sohaila means not just seeing her journey as a model, or an up and coming art director, or even as a stylist, but also as a human being. Between being a model, an art director, a stylist, a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a pescetarian, and even a friend – she still shows you that she has time to do things just for herself, which is honestly quite admirable. Watching her grow is more inspiring than watching any coming-of-age movie, she’ll leave you truly awed.
I mean, I’ve talked about Amira so much now, I’m convinced I have a tiny girl crush on her. My goodness, where to start? Extraordinarily funny, sexy as hell, frightfully witty, intelligent, creative, good-natured, and one of the best teen youtubers ever! Amira is so fucking real, it’s disarming for many people, to be constantly used to seeing fake people and attitudes, Amira feels like a slap to the face at first. Then though, she becomes an addicting breath of fresh air, sharing with the world things that are normal but with an Amira touch that makes them solely unique to her. She’s a force to be reckoned with, not to mention that her relationship with her parents is plain gold you guys. I swear if I could, I’d ask her to marry me, but then I’d be standing in a long ass line that starts with her boyfriend and probably doesn’t end. Anyway, just wanted to say, you’re brilliant and I want more Omo Mahmoud videos, thank you for being a balm to our tired souls.
Yousef is the most charming person you’ll ever meet, he openly flirts with every girl but that’s just his natural charisma and he totally doesn’t mean it, he’s supportive of everyone around him, and he’s always ready to share his experiences and give advice when he can. Naturally, with most people who lead an Instagram where they “preach”, it seems to give off a holier than thou attitude, right? Well, not Yousef. He’s as humble as they come, in fact, I’ve watched people come up to him and earnestly tell him about how much he helped them, while he just smiles and hugs them, usually telling them he’s always available. When not coaching at BeFit, studying to become a business major at AUC, taking his girl friends out, hanging with the guys at Dara’s, or at home spending time with his family – Yousef’s either filming or on the phone calming me down from whatever fit of anxiety I’ve thrown myself in. He’s just as much a brilliant friend as he is an inspirational “public figure”, and take it from a staunch feminist, Yousef is as respectful and admirable as they come.
Ex-Teenntimes writer, current Teenntimes consultant, ⅓ of Three Full Bellies, Med student, and feminist activist – Zeina is the girl of my dreams. She’s the founder of notorious anti-sexual harassment page Cat Calls of Cairo, and when she’s not actively working to smash the patriarchy, she’s at Holm Cafe having coffee and pouring over her hideous med school texts. Zeina is everything a person could ever want to be – fiercely compassionate, staunchly accepting, and brutally loving. Obviously, balancing so many things is not easy, but following Zeina means you get to see all those efforts she puts into all her endeavors come to fruition right in front of your eyes. It is so very rare to find a body positive feminist who is very vocal about her views in Egypt, but with Zeina, it’s there, laid out for all to see. Also, she’s witty as shit and funny as hell, and it’s hilarious to watch her comment on the many political follies that – naturally – occur in Egypt, especially recently. Give it a shot, yeah? You won’t regret showing this one some love.
Malak is a person I yearn to meet, she’s everything that is normal, but not. You know the kind of person who just exudes natural beauty and acceptance? That’s Malak, talking to her feels like coming home, she’s warm and lovely and so very open – it just makes you feel safe. Malak is – primarily – a stylist/fashion blogger and she’s damn good at it. She’s based in France and often spends the summer here in Egypt, what’s brilliant about her style is that she doesn’t have a specific style in the first place, she melds outfits together out of seemingly impossible pieces. Many fashion bloggers tend to stick to one look or aesthetic, but Malak flits between everything based on the weather, the trends, and – mostly – her mood, it’s definitely easy to find something that fits your personality with what she has to offer. What’s also incredible about her is that she never uses items that are too expensive for most people, most of her outfits can be found in stores that are affordable and available everywhere. She’s also in the habit of reinforcing that every single person is beautiful and we are all worthy of life and love. You’re missing out if you’re not following this beauty.
I desperately need to get to know this guy! He’s as radical as they come, his very existence is a threat to toxic masculinity – with blue/blonde hair, a killer fashion style, and as “different” a model as there can be. He’s beautiful in what people would call an “androgynous” way, but he just doesn’t give a shit about that, no matter how many people give him hate, he’s just unapologetically himself, which is super exciting and super influential. Breaking the stereotype may be a current trend, but I know for a fact that while many young boys and girls grew up watching cartoons, Yousef was too busy watching fashion shows to bother. Mostly though, I admire his confidence, it’s so powerful it’s infectious, which is honestly a good thing in this day and age. He said – and I quote – that the one phrase that has been urging him to follow his dreams his whole life is “inspired by the fear of being average”, gladly, he’s anything but.
If a ray of sunshine could transform into a person, it’d represent itself in the form of Tala. No, seriously, she’s short, horribly adorable, and has the voice of an angel. All she needs is an actual halo, but usually, her blonde hair looks like one from afar, anyway. Weirdly enough, she’s also loud as shit, is as feminist as they come, and lifts like a fucking champ. You guys, Tala is a gym addict, she looks all sweet with her blond hair and big blue eyes, but she definitely fights like a girl. If she’s not running at 6 AM before coming to uni, avoiding orange food, or singing down random corridors, she’s probably either procrastinating, drawing/painting, or ranting about beauty standards/the environment/other important shit. Following Tala means being bombarded by the cutest positive notes on her story and the occasionally violent rants in her caption, along with some kickass fitness videos, and so much self love it’d trigger you into loving yourself too.
A modest hijabi being healthy, fit and stylish while traveling and sharing love wherever she goes. Farida is an animal lover, a relatively recent hijabi, and an overall holistically healthy human being. She’s always sharing easy recipes, styling tips and tricks, pieces of advice, and the occasional interesting fun fact. She may still be starting out, but she’s already garnering attention, if only because it is rare to find a teen hijabi who openly shares the things Farida does. She’s super pretty, incredibly non judgemental, and has a heart of gold. Most of her recipes are vegetarian/vegan and they’re delicious (I’ve tried, they do not disappoint). She’s lovely and it’d do anyone good to follow such a promising positive individual who makes so many people feel like they’re not alone.
Yet another radical man who doesn’t quite fit into the typical mould. Yousef Tawakol is a fashion designer, he spends his time drawing designs and actualizing them – bringing them to life – on his brand’s account Yot Designs. Following such a big dream and balancing school is hard as shit – trust me, I’ve literally been there – and so, I can’t help but feel elated that someone as young, different, and talented as Yousef is doing it. He also recently displayed a couple of his designs at Gouna Film Festival, which is honestly insane, the moment I spotted his booth through Jamila Awad and Scoop Empire’s stories, a grin almost split my face. It can’t be easy being a teen male fashion designer in a society where everything that is masculine is the opposite of what he embodies, but that’s what makes him such a miracle. Yousef, if you’re reading this, bless you, and hit me up please, I’d love to get to know you.
I’m not sure if this needs a description, I mean, where can anyone begin to talk about Farah? We all know she’s stunning, but that has nothing to do with the appreciation I have for her as a human being. She may be one of Egypt’s top models but she’s modest about her “fame”, she lives her life however she sees fit, she’s constantly advocating for tolerance and acceptance of all beings, and is almost ridiculously cute when she’s fawning over dogs. She’s never afraid to call people out on their bullshit but she’s also always telling people to be kind. She’s impossibly talented as a model and I am desperately hoping to see her in an acting role someday soon. Someone who is as creative, skillful, and accomplished as Farah deserves all the recognition in the world.