If you know me, you know my ultimate girl crush is Amira Adeeb. Amira Adeeb, Gen-Z’s version of an actual influencer. Amira Adeeb, the YouTuber and comedian who makes everyone laugh when they need it most. Amira Adeeb, ex-soccer player and the talented dancer who we all looked up to before dance even became a thing in Egypt. Amira Adeeb the girl who dreams of being an entertainer. Amira Adeeb, the girl who was been wrecking social and cultural norms since forever, loudly, letting the whole world know and inspiring an entire generation in the process. Amira, daughter of actress Manal Salama and Director Adel Adeeb, niece of actor Sherif Salama – maternally, and TV personality Amr Adeeb – paternally. Amira, the girl who has struggled growing up in the shadow of and under the pressure of a region famous family. I legit told Amira to control her narrative, so here we are, this is her story, I’m just telling it.
Why are we doing this update now? A week and a bit ago, Amira posted a series of insta stories saying she’s taking a break from social media because national platforms and magazines have been dissing her about being “out there” and how dare she when she’s the daughter of the respectable Manal Salama and Adel Adeeb. Where is the dissing coming from? That Amira posted a picture of herself on Instagram in a pretty white dress on the beach. First off, in case you don’t know, Amira is living her best life in LA right now, doing YouTube, being present on Instagram, dancing, travelling, vlogging, and just generally being her hilarious badass self. Why’s Amira in LA and not Brighton? Well, I actually don’t know, but Amira left Egypt as a whole with a sole goal in mind: get out of her parents’ shadows and kickstart her own career from the ground up with no famous-family privileges attached. Which, honestly, is to be respected af because that’s a girl who is striving and learning and growing to reach her dreams.
By the way, Amira really didn’t want to make a big deal of this, for the sake of giving power to her, here’s what she said, verbatim: “I didn’t want to make a big deal of this, but I felt it would be weird to archive my posts and just go silent, so I was honest and I just let everyone know, that’s it”
Essentially, I just told Amira to open the floodgates and talk, which she did, I’ve got around 15 mins of voice notes to prove that, which is amazing because this is her best authentic self, but also to make matters easier, I put this in the format of question and answer for y’all so you don’t get confused. Read on.
What was it really like, growing up with such a famous and closely-watched family?
Amira started out playing gymnastics, yes, but then she got injured and caught up to the boys on the football field, which was met with disapproval from her parents and comments like: “it will ruin your feminine figure” – to which Amira joined the team in secret and played anyway. Suffice to say, once her parents watched her play, they were in awe of her, well, until another injury had her quit. The next “balwa” was when Amira decided dance was for her, which was met with a ton of criticism, mostly from her mom’s followers, where they shamefully called her a “ra2asa”. Amira’s parents were both very proud of her and she was proud of herself, but that didn’t keep her mom’s audience from lashing out at her for being a “disgrace”.
“Growing up in a famous family, you have to adapt, adjust things about you, and be careful with what you do – especially in Egypt. I tried my best to always be careful with what I did so I won’t bring my family harm or cause their reputation to be tarnished. I never really rebelled like most other people did, I never could experience my teen years the way my friends did, like, I never smoked or drank or anything, firstly because of my religion but secondly because I didn’t want to do anything that could be used against my family…There’s a time to rebel and there’s a time when rebelliousness will not help you in any way. I rebel a lot, not against my culture as a whole, more against the social and cultural norms that are set for us since we were young. Rebelling now won’t be smart (on clapping back at the “journalists” dissing her and her family)”
How’s your relationship with your family?
Fun fact: if any person checks out Amira’s instagram or YouTube, they can very easily tell that she loves her family to the moon and back. She did so many videos with both her parents, it’s the cutest thing ever.
“I love my family so much, I’m very close to both my parents. The reason I’m taking a break from social media is because I don’t want to bring them any harm from it. I honestly couldn’t care less, but I know my mom is sad, and I don’t want to see her that way.”
How do you feel about the comments attacking you and your family?
“People have been saying that I don’t respect my culture. They’ve been saying that I “ma3rafsh rabbena”. They’ve been talking about how much of a disgrace I must be for my family, to look the way I do and wear the things I do while being the daughter of the respectable Manal Salama. I love my culture, I respect our traditions, it’s just the toxic and backwards norms that I rebel against. My relationship with God is between Him and I, no one should be allowed to butt into it. I’m a person who takes their religion seriously and loves it greatly. Lastly, I love my mom. I don’t think anything I’ve done has caused me to be a “disgrace”, quite the opposite. I couldn’t care less about what these tabloids have to say, I’m just upset for my mom.”
Any platform that resorts to dissing a girl for a picture as “news” is just sad. What do you think about that?
“I’m sad that people are talking not just about me, but about everyone, and I see a lot of my friends who also grew up with famous families being attacked by these “journalists”, which is not news. It’s sad that me wearing a dress on the beach is news, and I hope that one day that would change, and people would stop being so judge-y.”
How’re you doing, mental health wise, in this big fat mess?
“My mental health has been down for the last year, everything is happening so fast, so much is going on, I’ve been feeling kinda drained, so I think I would’ve done this break anyway.”
Amira, what do you do and why do you do it?
“I just make content that I think will help people laugh and escape life for just a couple of minutes. The reason I don’t talk about politics or religion or anything as heavy is because I wanted to offer a few minutes’ worth of escape for people, just a moment for them to laugh and leave. I do charity, I just don’t think I should post about it because I think that should be kept private, but I also want to as a way to encourage people to do so, too.”
I’d also like to point out that Amira also said this: “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, but here I am, that should be the title of my memoir”
What are you going to do now, moving forward?
“I’m just going to move forward smarter and realize that I’m not “normal” and that just because my family are who they are, I have to be a little more careful, without taking away from me.”
You’ve been away from social media for a day, how’s that so far?
“You know it’s kinda funny, I already miss it. Like, I don’t miss posting, I just miss talking to people, because I get so many wonderful DMs and I didn’t think khales enno people look up to me, I didn’t think khales enno me just being me really helps others and inspires them to be themselves. I didn’t think me taking a break would be that big, at all, because I don’t think I have followers, yaani ana f mokhy, I have 18,000 friends keda, batkallem ma3ahom kollohom cause I answer everyone, 3ala ad ma a2dar. Honestly, they’re giving me so much strength and I love them so much and I didn’t think fe3lan enno what I’m doing, me living my life, is making any kind of impact, so that’s making me wanna like, come back faster. I love them all, it’s so sweet. I love social media, it makes it easy to connect, but it’s also shitty, you know?”
Any last parting words?
“People always ask me if I could give a trait to the world what would it be, and I always say: empathy. Because everyone was empathetic there would be no bullshit. It’s why I always preach kindness, be kind, be kind, be kind. If you’re kind, the world will be a lot less ugly.”
Well, you’ve heard the story straight from Amira herself and I couldn’t be happier to give space for one of this generation’s most powerful leaders to control her narrative. Amira, I am always inspired by you, always proud of you, and I love you. Thank you for doing so much for this generation and equally as much for us, here at teenntimes, and for me, personally.