A young Egyptian designer makes the Forbes ’30 under 30′ list

A young Egyptian designer Ghada Wali was selected as one of 2017 'Forbes 30 under 30 – Europe' in the arts category, to become the first Egyptian woman ever to appear in the Forbes European list. This is the same list that last year featured big names including John and Patrick Collison, Maria Sharapova and Adele.

The 27 year-old graduated from the German University in Cairo (GUC) in 2011, receiving an MA scholarship to study at the Institute of Design (IED‎) in Florence, Italy. She has a rich experience in graphic design, as she took the vow to contribute to the building of the future of Graphic Design in Cairo, where she worked as Graphic Design Tutor at both the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the GUC.

Wali also joined several multinational advertising agencies, including Fortune Promoseven and J. Walter Thompson; she then worked as team leader at 'MI7 Cairo', a leading advertising agency working with several multinational brands.

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An example of Wali's work

Wali's work has been featured in the F+F Schule Fur Kunst Und Mediendesign exhibition in Zurich. She also recently won the Granshan competition in Munich, as well as two Adobe Design Achievement awards; while the Society of Typographic Arts Chicago considers her among the best 100 graphic designers in the world. 

Dream Big and Never Surrender

“I was nominated by the Institute of Design (IED) in Italy where I got my MA degree, but the process to get on this list was so long and tiring; I was asked to send my work samples, then went through several interviews and finally, I received an email saying that, after reviewing thousands of nominations I was finally listed," Wali told Egypt Independent.

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The email announcing that Wali had been listed

“I’m feeling great that I reached this list, and I want to send a message to all Egyptian youth who are desperate to reach their goals; you have to dream big to reach what you want and never surrender,” Wali said.

Wali is always seeking to reach out diverse to designers with different design schools and cultural backgrounds, as she has attended several international design conferences in Dubai, Istanbul, Milan, London, Berlin, Barcelona and Zurich.

"All these experiences have been a great learning which solidified my creative, design and illustrative skills. Travel has played a large role in shaping my view of others and of cultural differences," she said on her website.

She added "I found myself able to encompass the Egyptian flavor through portraying my work on the maps of global trends; 'New, innovative, culturally driven, originally imprinted, clear, interactive, functional, emotional, conceptual, a signature, a treasure,' this is how I keep my work tied to those concepts. In addition, my independent research projects have strengthened my skills in laboratory work and developed in me an eye for details".

Meanwhile the National Council for Women (WNC) hailed the listing of Wali, with Maya Morsi, the head of NCW qualifying the young lady as a role model for all girls and a source of honor for all Egyptians. “The girl is talented and succeeded to achieve her dream, despite all the obstacles that faced her.”

Morsi said that Egypt is rich with many talented women who have good experience and efficiency in all the fields.


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Wali's work

The last couple of years Egypt has had a stronger presence in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, as last year a 28 year-old Egyptian oncologist named Yehia Abugabal was selected by Forbes magazine to be on the annual list that recognizes the world's top achievers in health care under the age of 30;

Abulgabal is the co-founder of the the Cairo-based International Cancer Research Center (ICRC), which works to curtail the spread of cancer in the Middle East. The research center, with the help of many researchers in a variety of specialties, raises cancer awareness and works to lengthen patients' survival across the Middle East.

In 2014 as well, an Egyptian neurosurgeon Mohamed Zaazoue made it to the list and was rated 'one of the world’s top social entrepreneurs'. Zaazoue launched a massive public health educational campaign to fight certain diseases, including pneumonia, the number-one killer of children under the age of five.

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Wali's work


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