“As a Girl, I Faced Many Negative Social Forms”

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!

A: Egypt lies in North Africa, also extends into Asia by virtue of holding the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is well known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, the pyramids and the sphinx, Egypt also has medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam - ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape.

Egypt is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. Although most people come to Egypt to view its ancient monuments, natural attractions beckon travelers too. The Red Sea coast is known for its coral reefs and beach resorts. A trek through the Sahara can lead visitors to refreshing freshwater spring oasis.
Egypt's most important cities to visit are Hurghada, Dahab, Sharm el-Sheikh, Luxor and Aswan.

About me, I`m Hagar Ibrahiem, 26 years old, I have a bachelor degree in computer science, I worked as a business analyst at the ministry of planning and administrative reform, and a free-lancer software developer. I've got a diploma in system development and mobile application, and currently working on my master degree. I`m also an Egyptian Red Crescent volunteer.

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: I think the world faces a lot of threats such as poverty, insecurity, lack of education, religious conflicts and climate change. On the other side, I believe this is expected as each era in history had its own problems and challenges to deal with. Despite the dire state of the world today, I still choose to stand on the glass is half full side of the spectrum, that`s because many


  1. Despite the financial situations worsening in many countries, the amount that is globally donated to charities continues to grow.
  2. The vast majority of people seem to have an innate desire to help in any way that they can. During the humanitarian crises, I always see incredible rescue, support and rebuild efforts that are happening daily worldwide as a bright glimmer of hope
  3. Innovative technology is transforming remote communities around the world as Mobile technology and other innovations allow humanitarian organizations to work better and smarter, improving efficiencies so more resources can help people in poverty and communities in crisis.
  4. The standard for basic education has changed from simply attending school to ensuring students can read, write, and do basic math. Youth are always seeking a better education. I think the better world is the world where every human can live safe, have an equal opportunity for education and expressing his beliefs without discrimination.

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

  • Egypt has high Illiteracy rates reached up to 20 % in 2016.
  • Overpopulation remains among top Egypt’s threats.
  • According to the UN, the statistic of gender-based violence in Egypt in both private and public places at 30.4% annually.

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

  1. As a girl, I faced many negative social forms regarding traveling and working away from my hometown, however my parents were very supportive.
  2. The centralization of all services in the capital and the large cities such as the good education centers and the jobs, which had me to travel away from my family.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: Mentors are advisers, motivators and role models, who believe in their mentees, see their potential and help them get to where they want to go. I can imagine how will be the difference in the world if each child and adult has a mentor for a period in his life to transfer him the experiences, the life lessons and save him the social cost of gaining experience.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

  1. Always Run.... Always run after the thing you want and never give up until you had it, and believe that God chooses us the best.
  2. While smooth seas never made a skilled sailor, rough seas make a great one.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: The Information Technology Institute (ITI) in Egypt, is a non-profit initiative aims to build local ICT talents and empower ICT capacity building.

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?

  • Negative social and cultural norms that restrict women’s mobility in public spaces and limit women’s employment and education opportunities.
  • Lack of commitment by the government regarding compacting violence against women.

The Efforts:

  • In 2015, Egypt adopted the "National Strategy to Combat Violence against Women (2015 - 2020)".
  • The National Council for Women published " the National Women’s Strategy 2030" in 2017.
  • The Egyptian president declared that 2017 is the year of women, and For the first time in Egypt's history, six female ministers occupied seats in the cabinet, representing nearly 20%...

Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?

A: "Hala Aranda", The Director of Public Affairs and Communications - Huawei Technologies - Egypt

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer." 
- Jim Carry.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep"
- Robert Frost

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.

A: Dedication and Persistence