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>Yasmine Shihata

About The Speaker

Yasmine Shihata

Yasmine Shihata, is an Egyptian and UK national, born in Kuwait who went to international schools in Vienna, Austria and Washington D.C. She attended university in London, where she graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a degree in International Relations. Having had a passion for fashion, art and magazines from a young age, Yasmine interned at Vogue and Marie Claire magazine in London during her studies. Yasmine’s professional career began in New York City, where she joined Vogue magazine as senior assistant to the Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour. This demanding position exposed her to the corporate magazine world and the intricacies of magazine production and public relations at a young age, Yasmine then moved to Cairo and founded Egypt’s first English language lifestyle publication: Cleo magazine. Cleo magazine was a hit from its inception, as it tapped into a virgin market and met the needs and aspirations of Egypt’s emerging sophisticated and modern culture. Yasmine’s success in her first venture cemented her status as a pioneer in Egypt’s English language lifestyle magazine market. Yasmine then sold her shares in Cleo and went on to launch Enigma magazine: the Arab region’s glossy lifestyle magazine for sophisticated Arab men and women with an international outlook. Enigma quickly became the region’s leading English lifestyle magazine and expanded its distribution throughout the Middle East. eniGma was also the first magazine in the Middle East to be available in print and online, with a dynamic online platform that includes video clips of Enigma cover shoots, interviews, and photos from social events, as well as a comprehensive archive of past magazine features. With a market presence spanning 22 years, eniGma has become a leading pan-Arab lifestyle English language magazine, featuring the region’s most dynamic celebrities, entrepreneurs, fashion and interior designers, and trendy destinations. The magazine is distributed in Egypt, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, and London. Yasmine also launched Enigma’s PR and events division to bring the glamorous world of eniGma magazine to life in cities across the globe - and to date it is the only Arab media company to do so. The eniGma PR division has hosted exclusive events in Cairo, London, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles. The events included a 2000 person celebration at the foot of the Pyramids of Giza on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of Enigma magazine with a performance by Bryan Adams, followed by an even larger celebration of the magazine’s 10th anniversary, also at the Pyramids, with a performance by Kylie Minogue. Along with many other smaller events - with high profile guests such as Sir Richard Branson and former US president Jimmy Carter - in the international cities mentioned above. Enigma also organized the Cairo International Film Festival’s closing party sponsored by Bulgari and many other events in Cairo and beyond. Yasmine also set up another division, eniGma TV, which films exclusive celebrity and entrepreneur interviews, cover shoots, PR events, and the latest fashion trends, for eniGma readers online. Enigma TV videos can be viewed on Enigma’s website, social media platforms and its dedicated YouTube channel. In 2013, she launched an Arabic language sister magazine, eniGma Star, a pan-Arab magazine, dedicated to celebrity and fashion news and features. The magazine was created to target the pan Arab audience around the Middle East, with exclusive and stylish celebrity and fashion content. Today Enigma also hosts an annual Celebration of Arab Glamour & Success in both Beverly Hills, California, London and Dubai to highlight the best of the Middle East and to bring an exclusive selection of VIPs from the Middle East and around the world together. The events are always star studded and also feature the presentation of Enigma Achievement Awards, to honour leading Arab personalities and entrepreneurs who have had an international impact throughout their careers. Past awardees have included Naguib Sawiris, Mohamed Alabbar, Mohamed Hadid and many more. These successful events have helped promote a greater appreciation of Arab success and culture around the world and help bring the East and West closer together. After 24 years in the industry, despite the political challenges in the region, the Enigma brand has continued to grow and succeed due to Yasmine’s dedicated efforts and genuine love for her work. Her extensive experience has provided her with an invaluable understanding of exclusive content and media production, public relations and business development. She is one of the few Arab women in the Middle East who has created her own international business, a strong brand name and has become a pioneer in the Middle East’s lifestyle and entertainment media and PR industry.