Ferial Aboushoka, the 19 year-old Egyptian Behind Kardashian-Recognized Blog FairysForum

By: Farida El Shafie

If you follow Addison Rae, Khloe Kardashian, or Huda Beauty then you’ve probably come across this powerhouse at some point in time. Ferial Aboushoka is a London based 19-year-old poet/lawyer-in-the-making and all-around badass. I stumbled upon Ferial’s blog Fairys Forum during the fall of last year and ever since, I knew I had to sit down for a virtual chat and essentially do what I do best…pick her brain for 4-6 hours…Besides being the sweetest person to ever exist, the conversation we had left me with a deep sense of awe and amazement. At such a young age, Ferial has not only accomplished so much but she has single-handedly paved her own path in life. Her family is comprised of revolutionary individuals and she’s sure as hell one of them. I don’t want to spoil the interview, but OMG her story will get you out of bed in the morning…In all honesty, I just love her. I could talk about her for hours on end but she does it way better so I’ll let her do that instead…alright ba-bye for now.

We’re starting with the basics…Name, age, where you graduated high school from, what year you graduated, what diploma do you have, what university you are in, what year are you graduating, what your major(s)/minor(s) are, why did you choose to study that? Basically everything…

Name: Ferial Aboushoka

Age: 19

Where I graduated from BISC (but I was only there for the last two years) the majority of my secondary school experience I spent in all-girls schools in London, specifically 2: Morehouse School for Girls, and Putney High School

Year I graduated school: 2019

Diploma I have: IB (was blessed to graduate at the top of my class in BISC, with 43 IB points, unfortunately, the only two points I missed were in Math cause numbers aren’t really my thing)

University: The London School of Economics and Political Science

When I graduate uni: 2022

Major: Law

Why: I’m interested in Law first and foremost as a social science, a discipline that typifies human behavior and its development. It’s interesting because law is necessary for the successful functioning of civilized society, yet it is also what dictates the contours of that same society… in other words, it’s so fascinating to me how we both create law according to pre-existing and inherent norms and cultural conventions, yet law also creates us in the sense that the human and his/her behavior is inevitably molded by the laws imposed on him/her. That’s the abstract part of my interest in law, my practical and career-driven interest in Law stems from its inevitable pervasiveness: law is everywhere and underpins all of our everyday dealings. Thus, the way I see it, truly understanding law is understanding the world better, and there’s nothing that excites me more than the fact that as a lawyer I might be able to help somebody else with my understanding, to potentially change… or even save their life.

On that note, I do have to mention that both my Grandfather (Bahaa El-Din Aboushoka) and Father (Mohamed Aboushoka) are lawyers, specializing in Criminal Law. They are incredibly renowned and respected in the legal sphere in not just Egypt, but the whole region, with an incredible legacy that I can only hope I’m qualified enough to continue one day. They honestly set the bar way too high.

What’s the inspiration behind your platform? What made you take the initiative – that leap of faith?

Inspiration first and foremost lies within the fact that I had gone to the point around a year ago where I was just done with the way that I was using social media. Personally, I think social media is like anything else; how much you consume of it and what you consume is a literal stimulator. It’s like for example, your nutritional diet if you consume a lot of the wrong things eventually you’re going to feel physically ill. That happens mentally with social media. I think for the longest time I was consuming it just to fill this kind of need to see the content that needs to be seen like celebrities and models. It forces you to compare yourself to them and I was seeing a lot of that and I wasn’t seeing enough cultural diversity, I wasn’t seeing enough bodily diversity. However, deleting social media permanently and deciding that you’re no longer going to have an Instagram and deciding that you’re not going to participate in any form of social media anymore is honestly very unrealistic, at least for my life. I have friends that are now spread all over the world. I need to keep in contact and Instagram did help with that. It helped me remember birthdays. I hate to admit this but I was forgetting people’s birthdays that I’m close to, people who I used to just remember their birthdays without any nudge or reminder. I was missing important things that were happening like I wasn’t updated on my friends’ lives anymore. I had to physically ask them, “ok where have you been up to? what are you doing?”. That element of connecting me to people, I needed to get back. I needed to connect with people without consuming the crap that honestly made me feel bad and just wasn’t good for me mentally so I returned to Instagram and that’s when I discovered Instagram writers and quote forums and spiritual pages.

This is my side of Instagram this is the site of social media I want to be on. The honest side, the side that is authentic, that encourages you to be your best self. I realized that I should start my own platform.

I started this, and this is completely honest, even my family will tell you and my friends will tell you, I used to write this stuff in my notes and read it back when I wasn’t feeling well. I will put a reminder on my phone for example when I was struggling and having a tough time and stressed. I would just write in my notes (the same quotes that are now on my Instagram page) on my phone and read them back to myself. I felt like “why don’t I just share these with other people?” and that’s what really pushed me to take a leap of faith and pushed me to put myself out there in that capacity. 

Like, thank you so much for calling a leap of Faith I’m so glad that you recognize that because that’s what it was. When I started this page, I was scared like I was the type of person who never posted on Instagram not pictures of me, not reposted quotes nothing I was too scared to post anything, not on my story, not on my feed, so for me to post my written down thoughts and my feelings and just sharing it openly with the world was a huge leap of faith. It was a huge step forward for me and it was like a huge show of bravery for me. In the beginning, I was really embarrassed and really shy and I didn’t want people to know. I didn’t tell anyone in the beginning, in fact, I blocked a lot of people when I first started my page because I didn’t want them to know. Eventually, I started to build up my confidence and I’m honestly a totally different person now. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where thanks to @fairysforum and what I post on @fairysforum and the work I have done with @fairysforum, I am no longer that same girl who was unnecessarily shy and embarrassed and too scared to really put myself out there in the world. I am so grateful for that because the amount of opportunities I’ve missed and the amount of like parts of me I was hiding for no reason is something that I do regret and I honestly wish that I had started sooner.

And honestly, it was really difficult in the beginning because you know the kind of people who pretend to be cool and go: “don’t be that kind of girl who posts like, quotes on her stories” and they think it’s kind of lame? A lot of people who I went to school with were like that and they made fun of people who would post quotes on their stories, so for me, to take a leap of faith as you called it and to step forward and to not only post quotes on my story, to create my entire page, to create @fairysforum and to post my writings, my thoughts and feelings; that was a huge step forward and that’s something I’m sure loads of people around me have made fun of and continue to make fun of me, but that is something that I don’t regret and something that I am glad I was brave enough to do.

I know you mentioned your family as being your main source of inspiration. Who are the people that inspire you most? 

I’m super inspired by female trailblazers in general. I love Maya Angelou. I think she deserves all the hype and more! Her writing is raw and authentic and the power she channels and her words are unmatched. I am also deeply inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez she has achieved so much in a world designed to oppress women of color. She created a powerful political voice for herself without ever compromising her morals and I have mad respect for her, for that, I also think Huda Kattan is such a queen and an icon. She built her business from scratch and overcame the struggles of growing up as an immigrant in the U.S. in a predominantly white school and community where her type of beauty was not recognized. She spoke about how growing up she truly felt ugly and now she uses her platform and products to empower millions of women to feel beautiful intrinsically not just by using her or their company’s makeup. She also supports other small beauty bloggers and small makeup businesses with an emphasis on black-owned businesses which is something we really need more of and still there in the competition-driven culture of the modern-day. *Huda Beauty also reposted Ferial’s quotes which is WOAH*

And finally but most importantly my mum she’s everything to me and the first person that ever believed in me, literally before I even believed in myself. What I love about my mother, and what inspired me most about her, is her inherent bravery. She’s courageous, speaks her mind, and doesn’t care to conform to toxic societal norms. Beyond that, she’s the backbone of our family and the strongest, most loyal, and passionate person ever. She’s a truly incredible person who does good in the shadows in a world that is every day becoming more and more for show. She’s also she’s a feminist and ingrained me with feminist ideals from a young age which unfortunately is quite rare in our society. 

You’ve mentioned you’re a law student, what’s one thing you hope to achieve as a lawyer in the making and blogger? 

I hope to continue to grow my father and grandfather’s firm and introduce new legal departments in it related to another area of Law I eventually specialize in. Both my dad and grandfather also have a hand and writing and drafting laws or at least sitting on a committee that does so. I think that the legal framework in Egypt is in dire need of significant developments to more adequately protect the interests of women in employment law, family, and even property law.

As for my plans regarding fairysforum, I do want to start getting more personal on my page and start showing people a little bit more of who I am. I get so many DMs from people who want to know more about me as the writer and creator behind this page and what’s held me back from doing so is my crippling shyness but I’m trying to get over it because it’s honestly held me back from doing so many things. 

What are some books you’ve read that completely changed the way you think and perceive? 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett I first read it when I was 11 and it changed me. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean. The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa al Aswany. The help changed me because it’s a beautifully written book but It’s such a powerful story. Not only do they explore themes of racism but they also explore the theme of sexism, gender inequality and the role of women in 1950s America which is honestly was awful in and of itself, let alone to be a black woman and you know being sentenced to a life where you’re being mistreated and being the help in other white women’s homes and raising their children just so you can grow up to have those same children mistreat you. It’s a story about a cruel world, but women standing by each other trying to, you know, express their truth and establish some form of change in that cruel world through a book, through writing. So for me, it was incredible because it had all the elements that I am interested in, it was written in first person, and I really gravitate towards books written in the first person. All of my favorite books are written in the first person, I connect more when the book is written in first person, and I finish it instantly almost, well not instantly, but I generally read much quicker when the book is written in first person, it just pulls me in. It is a weird preference that I realized I’ve had over the years. 

How would you describe your platform to someone unfamiliar with it? 

A page in which I provide a funnel into my own most authentic thoughts and feelings and use words basically to express them as best as I can, in my personal writing platform, I write what I think, I write what I feel, I write what I think keeps me motivated and the words that I think impact me in a way that makes me wanna keep trying, makes me wanna keep going, makes me wanna aim for my aspirations, so that’s what my platform is and that’s why it will be prone to evolution and the way I do things will inevitably change because as I change so will the words that I write and so will the words that I convey on fairysforum.

Fairysforum has gone beyond a social media platform and is now what I would consider a loving community, how has that community changed your life? 

Oh my god, in so many ways, like at the point when I started fairysforum, I was disillusioned by the world and a lot of the people in it, and starting fairysforum and the community that has come from it has made me realize that there are people all over the world who are so kind and who are so loving and who are so truthful and it honestly made me so excited. It opened opportunities for me to be able to bond with those people virtually of course and like, whenever I get the chance I will always try to respond to my DMs and connect with these people and learn more about their lives and to tell them more about my own. I know I’m a really lucky person, I am. 

Specifically, it changed my life in the way that it made me realize that there is so much more to the world than what I was specifically seeing at my school or in my own community or circle of friends. There is so much more to the world than petty high school drama, there is so much more to the world than you know ‘who’s dating who’ and ‘who said what about who’, you tend to get wrapped up in that when you’re young and what you’re subjected to and what you’re hearing about most of the time and fairysforum allowed me to truly branch out and develop a sort of wisdom, maturity and a view of the bigger picture that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten at this age. 

Where do you see yourself in a year? 

In a year, Inshallah in a year I see myself graduating from University. I’m really excited about that just because it’s going to be for my satisfaction. I know I’m going to feel like I’ve achieved a lot once I’ve completed my degree. I see myself continuing with fairysforum but as I said, becoming more and more comfortable with myself and like posting more like personal content. I see myself sharing more of the longer form poetry I mentioned earlier. I don’t share most of my writing, I only share like a small portion of it on fairysforum and I want to be less shy and put myself out there, that is something I am working on in terms of sharing more of myself and my writing and my longer forms of writing on fairysforum. So, yeah, that’s where I see myself in a year, the image is not clearer than that in any way, just because if anything. I think what the pandemic has taught us is that sometimes we can’t even properly visualize exactly where we’re gonna be in a week let alone a year because things can change in a second. 

What is something social media has taught you, that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise? 

Something social media has taught me more so than anything else in real life is trial and error. I think that unfortunately the education system as it currently is, doesn’t give us enough space for trial and error, because should the error part ever happen it could compromise our degree or compromise the Universities we end up going to, it could compromise our final grade. But there’s a lot of space for trial and error with every post to learn to improve to see what works and what doesn’t work. I was a very unforgiving person to myself; if I ever made a mistake I wouldn’t forgive myself for it, and now because of social media, I embraced much more the idea of trial and error, the idea that I can do something and it might not real perfect at first instance and might be in might be very bad at first, but it’s ok I can always try again today after the hour after. 

Another thing I’ve learned from social media that’s really important is how to get my point across in the most succinct and concise and simplest way possible. Basically, with writing my academic essays for university, I use like literally the most verbose language ever, the longest words and that’s the source for fun. When I was a kid it was a habit of mine until very recently. I think I’ve come a long way. For me to put out the content that I do without the quotes that I do in essentially a very simple way, is something that has been a journey for me. I’ve always had this inclination to use big vocabulary thinking that was going to make my writing good and it’s not. Social media has taught me that it’s actually a skill to be able to say things in simple straightforward ways and to make it impact the greatest number of people possible. There’s no reason to overcomplicate things or to use super like long words that no one can understand. High school me didn’t understand that, high school was all “make this sound as impressive as possible”. The reason that I have fairysforum, the reason that I would I do it honestly not to impress it’s to communicate it’s to be authentic and to express my thoughts and feelings that people might resonate with in the most honest and straightforward way possible. 

I remember distinctly the post you dedicated to the BLM movement specifically clarifying and breaking down how police brutality is unjustifiable. Will we be seeing a lot more social awareness and some social media activism in the future? 

Actually, before I get into this you’ll be surprised to know that when I did post about BLM, as well and legal perspective about why like what happened to George Floyd was wrong just wrong, I got attacked. Someone was in my DMs telling me to stick to quotes, just stick to the motivational stuff you post, you have no business talking about this, and I think it’s because I’ve been posting motivational content for so long and really positive, friendly, and kind of flowery stuff. A lot of people on my platform don’t actually know that I’m going to be a lawyer, I’m studying to become a lawyer and I handle some really dark things that people wouldn’t imagine, honestly. 

I remember distinctly the post you dedicated to the BLM movement specifically clarifying and breaking down how police brutality is unjustifiable. Will we be seeing a lot more social awareness and some social media activism in the future? 

Actually, before I get into this you’ll be surprised to know that when I did post about BLM, as well and legal perspective about why like what happened to George Floyd was wrong just wrong, I got attacked. Someone was in my DMs telling me to stick to quotes, just stick to the motivational stuff you post, you have no business talking about this, and I think it’s because I’ve been posting motivational content for so long and really positive, friendly, and kind of flowery stuff. A lot of people on my platform don’t actually know that I’m going to be a lawyer, I’m studying to become a lawyer and I handle some really dark things that people wouldn’t imagine, honestly. 

Activism has a bit more of a serious undertone that I do want to give my page in the future. But the reason why I haven’t done so in a while and I do more activist stuff, if ever, on my personal page rather than on fairysforum is because I take huge responsibility in fairysforum and in the platform I do have. I never want to be somebody that posts something that is factually incorrect or somebody who directs someone to a donation link that is invalid or where the money is being used towards something that it is not meant to be used for. There is so much fraud on the internet these days it is terrifying. I definitely want to do more of it [social media activism, social awareness], but that’s going to need extra time and dedication from me to fact-check everything and to make sure that I only speak out when I know what I’m speaking about for sure, and not to be a performative activist.

In your posts you talk a lot about rebirth and the sort of self actualisation that is perpetuated through losses and struggles. If you had to collate them all and give one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Stop waiting to love yourself. We’re all works in progress, it’s good to have goals and it’s important, too but it’s not healthy for your self-love and self-worth to be contingent on the achievement of those goals and I can’t say this enough to my friends, and to myself, and even my family. It’s not okay to only love yourself so long as you’re achieving your goals or have achieved them, you need to love yourself regardless and you need to love yourself on the days when you’re not doing too good and you’re not winning at life. You need to love yourself at every stage, every phase, not just when we become the versions of ourselves we’re aspiring to be. To summarize, self love is not only loving yourself when you’re winning, self-love is loving yourself full stop. It’s loving yourself even when you’re not popping off or doing great things and being super impressive or whatever, and I think as somebody who places so much pressure on myself, it’s really hard for me to even adopt an understanding of this idea a lot of the time but I try everyday to remind myself because you know, practice what you preach so I do try and I am still a work in progress with having full unconditional self-love.  

There’re a few people who would argue that romantic fulfillment is always somehow at the forefront of our lives, what are some of your thoughts on that? 

It’s interesting that you say that because I did post about this, like this short little written piece called platonic that I had posted on my main page. What I am saying is, without discrediting the power and beauty of romantic love, that there are so many other forms of platonic love that exist in our life, like love for a pet, for family, for friends, and the love of family and friends, and even love for one self. There’s just so many different variations of platonic love that are just as important and just as fulfilling as romantic love and I think a lot of the time that just because of the media and movies and TV shows we are made to assume romantic love is this necessity that we need to have in our life and that if we don’t have it then we are missing something so integral to our existence. At the end of the day, just because you don’t have romantic love, does not mean you are not surrounded by love, just because you are not romantically loved, doesn’t mean that you aren’t immeasurably loved by the people around you and i think it’s really important to remember that. Especially as young women, it’s so easy to get into your head and feel like you’re not doing something right. 

What gets you up in the morning?

It’s the people I love, my family and my closest friends, they’re my main motivation to get up in the morning, to try and take care of myself, to love myself, to try and do something with my day. Because, you know, being active is a from of self love as well, it sounds cheesy but it’s true because everything else is so transient and not guaranteed but the love from the people around you is the only thing that like I know is a constant. 

What’s something you accomplished that you’re most proud of? 

*I just want to add that since conducting this interview with Ferial she managed to get reposted by Khloe Kardashian and Addison Rae. Yes. Let that sink in.*

The positive impact Fairysforum had on a lot of people’s lives. It’s not to do with the numbers or the size of the page, it’s the positive impact and I am so grateful to have watched it yield on other people’s lives. Reading my DMs and seeing that my words have impacted somebody’s day in the smallest ways, for example, you know putting a smile on their face and making them feel loved and motivated, to some of the bigger examples, like encouraging them to leave a toxic or abusive relationship or applying for a job that they were too insecure or too scared to apply for, for fear of failure. It gives so much purpose to what I do and it’s something that I am so proud of! I would’ve never imagined doing through social media and so to be able to do so on a daily basis gives me so much joy and I am honestly so blessed and so grateful to be able to do. 

What can you tell other teenagers who want to follow you down this path? What advice can you give young people wanting to become like you? What can you tell them about balancing life? What do you do to balance it all?

The advice I would give anybody looking to follow a similar path to me is that first and foremost, you need to be ready to embarrass yourself. You need to be ready for the possibility that you might fail. You need to be ready to – most importantly and above all – try again. If you want to do anything with social media or writing. Whatever you do, it’s important that you’re ready to fail and try again, don’t expect that you’re just going to succeed on the first try. I mean, you might and it will be very rare, and it would be very lucky, I would definitely commend that. But, at the same time, the beauty of learning is that every failure is an opportunity to get things wrong and to build on that. Another thing I would say is, you need to stop caring what people think, that’s it, you need to stop worrying what your friends might say, people that aren’t your friends but you kind of know might say, you need to stop caring about what your wider community or society might say. Go after your dreams shamelessly and don’t care what people think, because at the end of the day, people aren’t going to lend you your dream on a silver platter, only you can do that for yourself. So, just make people’s opinions in your life strictly peripheral or non-existent, like, barely even look at them if you ever take them into account. 

This is more of a specific tip for anything to do with writing, social media or just anything artistic, if you have an aspiration to work in some sort of artistic industry and provide some sort of art form, you need to make sure that as far as possible that although you may be inspired by someone, that you are not copying someone, authenticity is key and it is key because the world of art, is very competitive and you need to be making sure that you are offering something that isn’t available on the market, in a sense, you’re giving them something distinctive, something new and it’s 100% you. 

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