Preserving Tradition
The Woman|July 2017

Azza Fahmy Jewellery Designer

"I have always seen challenges as opportunities and from my point of view, these would have been same, for anyone building  a business, irrespective of gender with the exception of juggling the raising of a family".

It all started when Azza Fahmy came across an art book about classical jewellery of the Middle Ages in Europe. The book was in German and cost 17.5 EGP - a fortune at the time- but neither language nor price barriers stopped her from buying it. Fascinated with the designs of the jewellery, this book was the light that ignited her inspiration. With a B.A. in Interior Design, Fahmy had planned to join the Faculty of Fine Arts to get a second degree in the Applied Arts Department, she soon discarded this plan in favour for an on-the-job training in the field of jewellery design.

It was culturally and socially unacceptable for a fine arts graduate who held a respectable job in the government to work as an apprentice in a workshop. Yet, Fahmy decided to become an apprentice in Khan El Khalili and learn at the hands of one of the most skilled masters in this craft. In the mid seventies when the British Council decided to send her on a fellowship to study jewellery craft in the City of London Polytechnic School, Fahmy saw her real chance of turning her dream into a reality. There, she learned the theoretical aspect of what she had practically learned of the craft. It was an enormous leap forward, and she felt deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn how to best execute most of her designs.

She came back to Cairo with a wider horizon and greater confidence as a jewellery maker. By the early eighties, she had set up her own workshop and employed a team of only two workers. Today, Fahmy is considered as one of Arab world’s most influential jewellery designers. Credited for exporting Egyptian designs to an international audience, Fahmy is a champion of her nation’s history and relies heavily on the heritage to create her breath-taking pieces of jewellery. One of her most famous collections, the Pharaonic Collection, has been credited with redefining ancient Egyptian jewellery for a modern world.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE WOMANView All

Changing Perceptions

‘Inside the Middle East’, CNN’s monthly show draws on the channel’s unique presence in and understanding of the region to tell stories about art and culture to CNN’s global audience. In an exclusive, Deepa Rajan spoke to Becky Anderson, Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi and two of the many dynamic presenters of ‘Inside the Middle East’: well-known Egyptian jeweller Azza Fahmy and Leabanese music icon Yasmine Hamdan

4 mins read
The Woman
July 2017

Preserving Tradition

Azza Fahmy Jewellery Designer"I have always seen challenges as opportunities and from my point of view, these would have been same, for anyone building  a business, irrespective of gender with the exception of juggling the raising of a family".

4 mins read
The Woman
July 2017

Toddler Travel

What puts you off travelling? For us it is the tedious travel times and flying. It becomes all the more tiresome when you have overactive toddlers. But why use it as an excuse not to travel. Farzeen Ashik’s been there done that and here’s what she’s learnt.

3 mins read
The Woman
July 2017

Manage That Stress

Homaira Kabir reflects on how we can deal with the daily demons of stress and that feeling of being overwhelmed.

4 mins read
The Woman
July 2017

Summer Chic

Who said your Summer wardrobe has to cost your entire month’s salary? Antara Bose picks 10 styles that look trendy and cost less than rials 50!

3 mins read
The Woman
July 2017

Celebrating Entrepreneurship

The British embassy recently hosted Women in Business After Tea at the Ambassador’s residence. A report.

2 mins read
The Woman
June 2017

Spiritual Goals

Farzeen Ashik lists 10 smart goals to make sure that this Ramadan you step back, evaluate yourself, and reset your intentions

4 mins read
The Woman
June 2017

For Sustainable Growth

Policymakers and industry experts discussed best industry practices and emerging business opportunities at the third Oman Real Estate Conference 

2 mins read
The Woman
June 2017

Best Foot Forward

Here's how you can have a great first week at work and make every day count at your new job

3 mins read
The Woman
June 2017

Beyond Baby Blues

Dr. Fabian Saarloos, Clinical & Health Psychologist at Al Harub Medical Centre talks about Postpartum Depression and how to deal with it as a family

3 mins read
The Woman
June 2017