Creating as a woman in the Arab World


Sarrah Abdelrahman The second featured artist in our series, “Creating as a Woman in the Arab World”. Sarrah Abdelrahman is a creative, actress, writer/ blogger, women’s rights advocate and a local brands ambassador. She studied journalism and theatre in the AUC. In 2011, she started a satirical blog on youtube under the famous name “sarrahworld”. She then received the Adoberge prize for representing the youth’s voice and hopes . Recently she’s been also recognized for her authentic role in Sabe3 gar (the series) that symbolized a lot of young women’s struggles and ambitions in our society. Virtual Vibes talks to Egyptian actress Sarrah Abdelrahman about her thoughts on art, the feminist movement in Egypt, and creating as a woman in the Middle East today. Get to know a little bit more about one of our favorite up and coming artists through our interview below.

Describe yourself in 3 words ?

perseverance, vulnerability, self-discovery

Describe your work/ art form to a non-familiar audience

Hello non-familiar audience 🙂 I am girl who is constantly expressing herself through many media, so far with acting, video blogging, writing and soon to be with more art, film, and music.

How did you get to where you are today ?

The support of those who believe in me, not giving up, and of course having the privilege of exposure to opportunities.

How would you describe the experience of creating/self-expression in Egypt? 

Creating here in Egypt comes with the golden opportunity for growth and improvement but comes with the challenge of the generational habit of self doubt, societal pressures and limits, and the centralization in the creative field.

As a woman, what is a behavior you disapprove of in your industry today ? And what do you think are the solutions to overcome it ?

Well, I want to first point out the behavior that I disapprove in myself that I often do, which is not always having the assertiveness to communicate my needs.. and in the industry I disapprove of the lack of space held for it. I want there to be space held for every woman creator to express her ideas, opinions and more importantly needs in every project she works on.

Did the growing (me too) movement and the Women uprising impact/influence
your work ? And the way the society is receiving your art ?

All movements have been giving me more and more hope, and confirmation that
things can change. I have been learning so much from women in my generation
through our constant struggle for our rights. But I am extremely proud to have
witnessed the generation Z women that really pushed for this particular wave to start.
I think now there is certainly a healthy cooperation between these generations that is
finally creating an inclusive narrative.

What is a piece of advice you can give to aspiring or early career female
creatives in Egypt ?

Use all the resources you can. Don’t hesitate. You won’t lose anything if you try, if
you ask, if you ask even online. And always know that what you’re feeling is valid
and deserves attention. As a woman, you have a gift of a gut that can guide you
to so much wisdom and clarity, stay in touch with it always.

What do hope to see women more in charge of/ role development in the
coming years ?

I see a lack of female presence in every department in the creative field. So I want to
say that I want to see more women playing all roles 🙂

This month, we also celebrate women’s history across the world, can you tell
us about a woman who inspires you ?

Honestly nothing inspired more than the women around me that say things without
hesitation even though the risk is huge. I don’t want to be giving this general answer,
but all women in history are exactly similar to those women I am speaking of, they
are just doing what they stand for regardless of the fear and consequences they face.

Is there anything you would like to add/include in the feature ?

Yes. Smash the patriarchy!