I obtained my BSc in Architecture from Ain Shams University in Cairo in 1999, then MFA degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. For more than 10 years I explored the different aspects of the design and construction industry in Egypt, through positions in both local firms and multi-national corporates.
Starting in 2008, I began taking on freelance work, starting with home cinemas then residential projects that led to setting up a partnership with an existing design firm. Through that, and in my capacity as Design Director, I moved to Lusaka, capital of Zambia in Central Africa, to open the company’s new office there and a retail showroom for high-end furniture and home furnishings, produced/assembled in Egypt.
After nearly three years in Lusaka, I returned to Cairo and launched Design Dialogue, a boutique architecture and interior design studio based in Downtown Cairo. Towards the end of 2021, I started Kennah, an operator for branded/serviced residences that launched its first cohort of units in January of 2022.
I am most interested in the concept of Adaptive Re-Use. It was the subject of my MFA Thesis project and the drive behind launching Kennah and other ventures I’m building. The goal is to breathe life into existing structures and spaces, renovating them to accommodate modern-day use. It is THE most sustainable approach to greening the design and construction sector in a developing country like Egypt.
I have 24 years of working experience in the design/construction industry and, in the aftermath of the pandemic, pivoted to launch a new business in the hospitality sector, engaging with the startup ecosystem in Egypt. This led me to embark on a completely new learning journey, acquiring a different skill set than the one that I had depended on for the decade before. I see these diverse experiences as helpful to startups, expanding perception, adopting agility and adaptability all essential skills to launching new businesses in this day and age. I also travelled through Africa, and actually lived in Central Africa for nearly three years, feel qualified to claim to have an understanding of the people and culture.