Malak Fouad

My final guest of this season is the one-and-only Youssra, who tells me about her life’s journey from key decisions that led to her breakout success to her ground-breaking acting career that took on societal taboos:

In Karakoon Fi El Sharea, we changed the rule that we can build in the desert at the time. I changed rules through my episode like Adiyyeit Raie Aam, about rape. The most powerful thing in art is your influence and what you want to get out of it. If you will add to your society or you will take from your society. So I believe when we changed laws into better, I think this was something exceptional.
This episode is brought to you by:
EFG Holding, a trailblazing financial institution with a universal bank in Egypt and the leading investment bank franchise in frontier and emerging markets.

Youssra has been an icon in the Middle East since her early performances in the 1980s. With over 80 movies, countless serials and theatre performances, her career has spanned seismic shifts in culture and politics, and she has interpreted and contributed to all of them.  

Youssra is also a role model to younger actors and people in the industry and is often championing new talent in her films and TV work. What struck me most about her was her professionalism, her simplicity and how down-to-earth she is—there is no entourage, assistants, or arriving late.

My conversation with Youssra was recorded in September 2023 at our studio here in Cairo. If you’re a member of the show, we’ll have a bonus episode next week where Youssra shares her thoughts on the future of the Egyptian and regional film industries.