May is a freelance writer based in Cairo. She specializes in writing about development, social issues and entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek Middle East, Forbes Middle East, Al-Monitor, Arab News, Ms. Magazine and the Middle East Exchange among others.
CAIRO: Fast fashion is defined as "inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends." While it is affordable, fast fashion is plagued by ethical issues, including the treatment of garment-factory workers. Its effect on the environment - from the disposal of cheap apparel to the pollution of natural resources - is also a growing cause for concern.
Most people in Egypt don't think much about their garbage. But for women in Manshiyat Naser, a slum area in the outskirts of Cairo, garbage is an opportunity to make a living.
Mobile phones, computers and tablets play a vital role in our lives today, but they also contribute to a growing electronic waste problem. Given the speed of developments in technology, the shorter lifespan of these products and the replacement of electronic devices with newer models, e-waste will only continue to grow.
Solving MENA's serious waste problem means addressing our throwaway culture
Egypt's Education Minister Tarek Shawki announced in April the implementation of new reforms to improve education in Egypt. The reforms, which are in part funded by the World Bank with a $500 million loan for five years, will cost a total of $2 billion and are expected to replace the existing education system with a new one to better equip Egyptian youth for the current job market.
While HIV infection rates are declining globally, the disease is spreading dramatically in Egypt. According to UNAIDS, HIV infections in the country are increasing at an annual rate of 25- 30%. An estimated 11,000 Egyptians were living with HIV as of 2016, most of them under 49.
The #MeToo campaign that took the world by storm strongly resonated with women in Egypt. Emboldened by the global flood of women breaking their silence on sexual harassment, Egyptian women also took to social media to share their experiences.
ارتفاع ريادة الأعمال الحرة النسائية في مصر مي الحبشي نيوزويك الشرق الأوسط فاطمة الزهراء هي صاحبة إحدى وكالات الاتصالات في مصر. تجلس خلف مكتبها الكبير، حيث تتلقى المكالمات وتفوض المهام إلى الموظفين. في حين أن هذا المشهد من الريادة النسائية للأعمال قد يكون شائعاً في أجزاء كثيرة من العالم، إلا أنَّه ليس كذلك في مصر.
مي الحبشي خاص بنيوزويك الشرق الأوسط في غضون ساعات من انطلاق حملة #MeToo أو أنا أيضاً، سرعان ما تفاعلت النساء في مصر مع الحملة عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لمشاركة تجاربهن مع التحرش الجنسي على أمل الخروج بهذه القضية من إطار المحرمات الثقافية مرة واحدة وإلى الأبد.
A new quiet revolution is taking place in Egypt: the female entrepreneurship revolution. This kind of revolution sees talented women unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit and rising up in the country's young start-up market. Today, women are starting their own businesses at unprecedented rates since 2011.A new quiet revolution is taking place in Egypt: the female entrepreneurship revolution.
By May El Habachi Overlooking Cairo's Citadel, lies a small secluded community informally known as the Zabaleen, or garbage people. As the name suggests, the Zabaleen live in the midst of garbage that overwhelms the district's narrow winding roads and small alley ways.
Syria's children will be a lost generation suffering not only from a life of violence and war, but a life of bleak opportunities. As the Syrian War marks its sixth year, the humanitarian crisis has become worse than ever. Those paying the highest price of the conflict are children.
Entrepreneurship in the Middle East
TUNIS: Tunisian fashion enthusiast Ameni Mansouri never thought that the Facebook group she started almost four years ago to sell clothes and accessories would one day turn into a popular online marketplace used by women throughout North Africa.
Egypt's TAM Gallery making art accessible for all As the brainchild of a professional artist, TAM Gallery has set itself the dual goal of giving young creatives the opportunity to achieve recognition and making the appreciation and acquisition of artworks affordable for all, writes Lina Mowafy is determined to make art accessible to all, convinced that it should be enjoyed by everyone - from students and art connoisseurs to everyday people.
A Lebanese businesswoman is on a mission to ensure that everyone in the Middle East will be able to access financial services so that they can improve their lives and contribute to the region’s economic growth, writes May El Habachi.
Unique MENA platform elevates the voices of Arab women Two female entrepreneurs are helping Arab women to grow professionally and overthrow gender stereotypes by sharing their stories in public, writes As strong advocates for gender equality in MENA, entrepreneurs Samar Alshorafa and Noha Hefny believe that it is important to support women professionally to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.
CAIRO: According to a recent Middle East report, 1.3 million people in the UAE alone regularly listen to podcasts, which presents an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs, businesses and brands to connect with audiences online. Although still in its infancy, the region's podcast scene is expected to continuing growing, especially as mobile connectivity and awareness of such services increases.
There are more women-led startups in the Middle East than anywhere else in the world.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat. For refugees it is even more challenging, and yet many are seizing the opportunity.
The one-stop fashion incubator encouraging Arab entrepreneurs to go global
Encouraging refugee entrepreneurship in the Middle East
How to be from the 10% of startups that succeed
As startups grow in the Middle East, so does their need to establish a solid social media presence to build and expand their business. Like any marketing tool, however, social media is always evolving; what works now will not work forever. To stay ahead of the curve, startups should keep these seven tips in mind when using social media.
Heba Edris is no ordinary fashion designer. Born and raised in Kuwait, the Palestinian artist says that she learnt to draw before she could even speak. But it is her desire to bring high-end fashion to women that sets her apart from other modest designers.
It's hard to believe that Sarah Bahaa only started her own modest fashion collection a year and a half ago. Sketching designs since the age of 16, she's now a favourite amongst Egypt's hijabi fashionistas. A headscarf-wearer herself, Sarah had struggled to find fashion-forward clothes.
Women empowering women to fight sexual harassment in Egypt
Business women in Egypt. Business is largely viewed as a male-dominated world, especially in the Muslim community, in which female modesty is held in high virtue. However, in Egypt, like many other countries in the Middle East, a new breed of female Muslim entrepreneurs is shattering this stereotype by rapidly growing their own businesses.
The Saudi Female Entrepreneur Bringing Bespoke Fashion to the Arab Region
Saudi accelerator programmes. My Salaam collage There is no better time to be an entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia. The number of support organisations, including incubators, accelerators, funds and co-working spaces, has tripled over the last few years, and entrepreneurs in the country now have a great opportunity to successfully launch and grow their startups.
The RiseUp Summit 2017 just concluded its three-day startup conference in the heart of Downtown Cairo, Egypt. From December 1 to December 3, the summit gathered entrepreneurs, investors and media from across the world to share their experience and insights on entrepreneurship in the region.
The International Handicrafts Show (IHS), for the second year in a row, is showcasing Egyptian art and handicrafts to the public from November 17 to 24 at the Egypt Expo and Convention Centre in Nasr City.
BEIRUT: Sabine Choucair, a professional clown, is on a mission to spread light relief to Syrian refugees and vulnerable people worldwide. She discovered her true calling when she learned the art of clowning while studying theater in the UK. "I found it (clowning) magical.
Entrepreneurs often lead the way in social change, so it should come as no surprise that the creation of green startups in Egypt has been surging since 2011.
Egyptian entrepreneurs Hadeer Shalaby and Amgad Moustafa decided early on that they would leave the corporate world and start a business that empowers women. Through Freeziana, a platform that sells handmade goods, they connect directly with buyers to help women grow their handicraft business.
Turning plastic waste into building material
Women are driving change in the Middle East's tech industry
KARIM EL HEFNAWI ALWAYS KNEW HE WANTED TO RUN HIS OWN BUSINESS SOMEDAY. BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL HE VISITED HIS FATHER’S STORE ROOM IN SAKKARA, AN ANCIENT ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE ABOUT 30KM SOUTH OF CAIRO, IN 2010 THAT HE DECIDED TO EMBARK ON HIS ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY OF CARPET MAKING
Taita Leila: Telling the stories of Palestine one stitch at a time
This Saudi entrepreneur wants more Arabic audiobooks available in the region
Health and Wellness
We are all guilty of engaging with our phones when we should be connecting with those around us. With a click of a button, it has become all too easy to like, comment or share instead of having real human communication and interaction. Our fascination with social media is clear.
By May El Habachi If you are one of the millions of people trying to lose weight, here's a tip: Don't go on a diet. In the effort to lose weight, many try fad diets only to realize that they don't work in the long term.
Diabetes is soaring in the Middle East and Egypt is no exception. The prevalence of diabetes in the country has almost tripled in the last two decades, and it will continue to skyrocket if incident rates remain the same.
By May Habachi Healthy eating is often synonymous with strict dietary limitations or even deprivation. But it shouldn't be. Rather, healthy eating is about feeling good, having more energy and stabilizing your mood (often making you feel happier).
Re-inventing Yourself on the Move
Nadia, not her real name, is one of 158,510 registered refugees in Malaysia. She is a 35 year old Syrian refugee and a single mother of three children who came to Malaysia in search for a better life. Three years later, she is still struggling to survive.
Most expat spouses leave their jobs behind when accompanying their partners abroad. More often than not, they cannot continue their careers and thus lose their professional identity. According to Expat Insider published by InterNations, 60 percent find giving up their career difficult and 65 percent dislike being financially dependent on their spouse.