We speak to Sandra Abdallah and May Tawakol, co-founders of the sleek new magazine setting off to bridge East and West - and bring best-selling authors to the Middle East.
Launching powerfully and spellbindingly as a shooting star, we found Women, a brand new magazine that sets out to spark dialogue and tackle female issues from a perspective that bridges East and West.
The magazine starts off big with an array of celebrity contributors, such as Oprah Winfrey’s guest speaker Caroline Myss, a five-time New York Times bestselling author considered a guru in spirituality and mysticism. Oprah’s former producer herself, Mary O’Donohue – whose legendary experience behind the scenes includes The Today Show and NBC Nightly News – is part of this all-rounded crew, which heads off to swiftly alter perspectives on women’s issues, from mysticism, to fashion, to alternative medicines.
“We felt there was a conceptual gap in the market, because there are a lot of voices talking to women through magazines, which are all amazing, but we fell there is a voice missing. So we thought we could be that missing voice, in order not to compete with the rest, but to add something new,” says co-founder Sandra Abdalla.
An anthropologist, fitness trainer, and author of ‘Cairene Women: A Bachelorette not a Spinster’ 38-year-old Abdalla heads the sleek new magazine with fellow entrepreneur May Tawakol. Together, the two business women have been building their powerhouse TAMS since 2008, the company behind Workshopers, Temple Tramp – the brand representing the London Call of Fashion in Egypt - and WORKOUT, a fitness brand that builds poise and control.
“We are feminists but in a good way,” she laughs. “We basically love information, we love to read, and we love workshops. We are always working on that field, whether it is personally or professionally. But we felt there is a big gap concerning where we are and where we need to be,” explains the entrepreneur as she anticipates the magazine is rather conceptual. “We deal with matters such as feminity, and we start from a very basic understanding of issues so that we build up on that.”
Kicking off with an interview to Mirette Osama, co-founder of The Lemon Tree & Co., in a collaboration with Photoboutique, the magazine stands out with a stylish approach that is conceptual to its core, even in the crafting of its sections – their fashion section is named nothing less than ‘Fashist’. “I don’t like puns, but it is stort of a pun to imply that it is fashion but very, very strongly opinionated,” Abdalla says.
But the business woman emphasizes they are not here to disrupt. “We are not here to revolutionize but to present matters and let people decide for themselves. We are conceptual and we tell it as it is, but we don't aim to stir waters as much as to open spaces,” she clarifies.