‘An Inspiring Evening at the Launch of “My Life in Jewelry”

On Wednesday, 26 June 2024, AUC Press hosted a book launch for My Life in Jewelry: A Memoir by renowned Egyptian jewelry designer Azza Fahmy at the historic Ewart Memorial Hall on AUC’s Tahrir campus. The launch featured a conversation between Azza Fahmy and narrative content creator Beshir Shousha, offering attendees a unique glimpse into Fahmy’s creative process and the stories behind her stunning creations from her early beginnings to her current status as an international design icon.

The evening began with a pre-launch reception honoring special guests, including TV Presenter Mona ElShazly and other distinguished friends of Azza Fahmy.

Guests filling up Oriental Hall where the VIP reception was held.
photo of Mona ElShazly with the AUC Press team
Mona ElShazly with the AUC Press team
 Azza Fahmy with Aicha AlShabrawy
 Azza Fahmy with Aicha AlShabrawy
Azza Fahmy with AUC adjunct professor Menna El-Mahy
Azza Fahmy with AUC adjunct professor Menna El-Mahy
Photo of Azza Fahmy with Beshir Shousha
Azza Fahmy with Beshir Shousha

The main launch began with a warm welcome onto the stage for Azza Fahmy by Beshir Shousha, who shared anecdotes from her memoir throughout the event. Other speakers later also contributed to the conversation, raising topics that encouraged Azza Fahmy to explore her experiences and sources of inspiration more deeply. 

The event also featured touching video messages from close friends of Azza Fahmy, including Egyptologists Jane Smythe and Christine Green, Chairperson of Delta Shield for Investment and member of parliament Nevine El Tahiri, and ESLSCA University adjunct professor Rania Bdeir, as well as Azza’s daughter Fatma Ghali.

Photo of videos from Adjunct Professor Rania Bdeir, Egyptologist Christine Green, and Fatma Ghali, Azza Fahmy's daughter  displayed at the event
From left to right: Adjunct Professor Rania Bdeir, Egyptologist Christine Green, and Fatma Ghali, Azza Fahmy’s daughter
Amina Ghali, Azza Fahmy's daughter, joined the discussion on stage.
Amina Ghali, Azza Fahmy’s daughter, joined the discussion on the stage

Later in the evening, Azza’s daughter Amina also joined the discussion on stage. Amina, the head designer at ‘Azza Fahmy Jewellery’, added further dimensions to the conversation, shedding light on Fahmy’s personal and professional journey and the joys and challenges of working with her own family.

“Many stories unfortunately remain buried and untold, but I consider myself fortunate to have been able to share mine,” said Azza Fahmy.

Fahmy described herself as highly organized and a thoughtful reader, adding that her passion for thorough research and meticulous preparation was reflected in her identity as a designer. She credited her father for instilling in her a deep love for reading since childhood, which shaped her ability to integrate cultural knowledge into her work. 

Azza Fahmy with Beshir Shousha on stage
Azza Fahmy with Beshir Shousha on Stage

Fahmy recounted a proud moment during a visit to Washington as part of a program initiated by Jehan Sadat back in the day when her work was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art. Later, when exploring the library of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, she felt vindicated in having amassed her own extensive personal collection of books.

“Egypt is a treasure to me,” said Fahmy, emphasizing her profound admiration for her country and how one can derive inspiration from every corner of Egypt. 

Fahmy is an advocate of slow tourism, as shown in the video message by Egyptologist Jane Smythe, who accompanied Fahmy on her tours to historical sites in Luxor. Smythe noted that Fahmy’s approach is not just about gathering information but about interpreting the significance of everything she encounters, which has had a profound influence on her unique designs. Fahmy added that she feels fortunate to have been born and to have lived in Egypt.

Egyptologist Jane Smythe 
Egyptologist Jane Smythe 

Fahmy spoke passionately about the artisans and craftsmen of Historic Cairo’s jewelry district, who embraced her passion and dedication to jewelry design, generously sharing every tip and trick of the trade without holding back. She feels thankful to them, recognizing many as great artists whose talents and works remain largely unknown and uncredited. 

Fahmy believes that preserving this craftsmanship is crucial, highlighting her primary goal of establishing a research center that is accessible to researchers and learners. This initiative aims to give due recognition and significance to the art and craft of jewelry making.

Azza Fahmy Gallery in Zamalek district

Fahmy also expressed great pride in her team and family, particularly her daughters, who are integral members of her organization. Together, they share a unified vision and commitment to realizing their never-ending dreams, which she recognizes as fundamental to their ongoing success.

The event concluded with a Q&A session, while a table display of stamped copies of My Life in Jewelry was made available throughout the evening, for attendees to purchase copies of the memoir.

A photo of Mona ElShazly joining the Q&A session with Azza Fahmy
Mona ElShazly joining the Q&A session with Azza Fahmy
My Life in Jewelry on display for the attendees.

The evening was a big success with upwards of 700 attendees, the discussion between Beshir Shousha and Azza Fahmy, as well as the words of Fahmy’s daughters and friends, provided a compelling glimpse into Fahmy’s life and work and underscored her profound impact on the world of jewelry design and cultural preservation.

The audience enjoying the discussion 

Read the coverage of the event in Al Ahram Online and Al–Fanar Media.

Watch a glimpse of the event coverage in this video by Orbit TV.

Watch the full launch event

Read the Q&A with Azza Fahmy entitled “Find something that you love and hold on to it while staying unique.

To further explore Azza Fahmy’s journey, read her memoir My Life in Jewelry. 

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