My interview with the very beautiful Nayrouz Abouzid the reality TV star and the editor of Alter Ego magazine.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, as a beautiful and very young mother, as a wife of an artist and as a very successful magazine editor?
- I came back from Italy about 10 years ago. I really wanted to experiment in my own country, and nowhere else. I was offered the opportunity to complete my graduate studies in Europe or the States, but I felt an innate attraction to my homeland. My first 5 years were a complete culture shock because I slowly realized Egypt wasn’t the country I used to visit every summer, it was much more complex… and to be honest much harder to adapt to than I had predicted. I started as a presenter in Mehwar Satellite channel, where I received some training which only came in handy 2 years ago when discussing the Hiya W Huwa show on MBC. At 24 I started my own magazine after working for several publications as a freelancer and as a managing editor. The magazine was called EGO and it was my pride and joy I was fortunate to work with an incredibly creative team who seriously developed my love for media. One year later, I decided to start Alter Ego Magazine with friend and partner, Khaled Makki. We are now launching the digital version of Alter Ego Magazine, seeing that most people spend their time online and we hope that through it we can offer honest reviews of Arab Entertainment worldwide. You see, in my humble opinion, entertainment reflects the region’s social and political morale if you review entertainment, you’re reviewing economy, politics and of recent even ‘religion’.
- As a mother and wife, I think I have surprised myself frequently over the past 2 years. I used to think that my career driven ambitions would affect my personal life… It turns out; all women are very capable of being good mothers and wives as long as they are happy.
Describe your husband Shady Hamza and your bundle of joy Omar in five words.
- Shady is not just a husband, he’s a brother, friend, mentor and sometimes a shrink. Omar is an addiction, an obsession, a true blessing and a heavenly joy. If you sit with Shady, there is absolutely no way you wont fall in love with his character ;he’s possibly the kindest, purest human being I know and his son is a carbon copy of him !
What makes your magazine different from others on the market?
- You know it’s not really a matter of what makes me different or what makes the magazine stand out. It’s more about how much my partner Khaled and I have invested in this project and have worked hard on building the company. This struggle is visible in the magazine- it’s a genuine media attempt to reveal Arabic entertainment to a global market. It is a gentle effort to send our own artists abroad, to make them worthy of the Red Carpet and to acknowledge their phenomenal talents. Arabs are very talented especially when they stick to their roots.
What is your mission at Alter Ego Magazine?
- To shed light on Social issues in Egypt and the Arab World via entertainment. Every artist has an alter ego; we reveal that ego.
What is your day like as an editor?
- Well, recently I have been on a break from the magazine. However, the day usually consists of brainstorming new ideas with my partner, deciding who is this year’s top artist/entertainer, and sitting with my writers to review the entertainment industry as a whole. Once all is decided and the writer’s hand in their first drafts, we sit with our art director Chadi Serhal, who also has immense influence on the magazine’s direction. Then we make it work, every month. Now, Alter Ego is going digital and will be updated on a weekly basis!
We saw in ‘Hiya wa Huwa’ a supportive wife, a loving mother and a good friend, so tell us the secret of keeping the balance of all the above?
- There is no secret. I’m just a regular Egyptian woman. That’s what we do 😉
Many mentioned your great style on the reality TV show, so we would like to know more about it…
- Thank you so much for the compliment! Many things influenced my style on the show. First of all, I wanted to make sure I don’t dress in a way that may offend anyone watching, but also don’t forget that I lived 18 years in Italy (Fashion central) and have been working in the media for the past 8 years. These are all elements that make me conscious of the way I look and at times a little picky about my clothes. I was lucky to have a stylist on the show called Ihab El Adly, who helped me pick clothes that were flattering on camera. Nonetheless, it was hard because I had just delivered a baby and was still trying to lose some weight 🙂
What’s your favorite brand of shoes/clothes & makeup?
- There are 3 brands I love:. Bottega Veneta for bags, Dolce&Gabbana for clothes, and Azza Fahmy Jewellery.
Who are your favorite designers?
- I have always loved Chanel, Valentino, Azza Fahmy- I like designers that highlight a woman’s beauty by displaying her character.
What is your favorite perfume?
- Dolce Gabbana’s “Rose The One” perfume. I love it!
In which country you like to shop?
- Italy, Italy, Italy.
Who are your fashion idols?
- Michael Jackson. His eccentricity, simplicity, and uniqueness has always grabbed my attention. I mean there are plenty of fashion references, but MJ’s tailored fashion sense is to be respected. The hats, the shoes, the white socks, the leather jackets… the 80’s and 90’s meant looking like MJ.
Who helps you to choose your clothes?
- When I’m lucky, my father-he is the coolest shopping companion ever and his taste is impeccable. Otherwise my husband or my best friend Aya- who is also brutally honest but whose fashion opinion I highly value.
What we can find in your hand bag?
- Coins, wet wipes, small water bottle, makeup, candy, notebook where I write all of my notes and ideas, i still carry a pencil-case at this age… and sometimes even a sandwich. That’s why most of my bags are pretty large, although I love carrying clutches.
Thanks again for doing this interview. In closing, any quote that you could leave us with?
- I have many quotes that come to mind, but this year’s quote is definitely “its better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not”. Also, having faith in God and believing in oneself (despite what anyone may do or say) pays back.
& I couldn’t NOT to share Shady’s song dedicated to the beautiful Nayrouz.
Thank you ~Asmae MAHFOUD ~Xoxo