Meet the Exhibitors

The Urban Exhibition is a collective artistic manifestation that explores themes of identity, space, urbanity, sustainability and impact. As you take a walk through this ant colony-inspired microcosm of modern urbanism, you will encounter depictions of  complex and multi-layered relationships with the city and interpretations of belonging to an urban collective. There are four phases to this journey- reconnect, recycle, rebuild, and rebrand. The Reconnect section explores concepts of connection with the self, people, the city and nature. The Recycle section explores the implications of our current habits on our surroundings. The Rebuild section highlights the efforts of urban pragmatists who have attempted to create a more conscious environment for communities. The Rebrand section amplifies the intersection between art/design and urban citizenship. As a whole, the experience is meant to elicit the contemplation of urban citizenship and the re-imagination of encounters with the city. 


Up Fuse: 

In 2013, Up-fuse was founded as a pre-masters project by its founders. The founders started Up-fuse based on their passion for sustainable designs and love in exploring materials. They realized the capacity to go beyond making an environmental impact and the idea of designing and producing a local product that revolutionizes Egyptian handcrafts became very appealing.


Taimour Othman: 

Born and raised in Cairo, Taimour developed a passion for photography at quite a young age. As he grew, so did his passion and the desire to capture his surroundings. More recently, as an avid traveler, he takes his camera everywhere he goes. 9 years ago, his new year’s resolution was always to “travel & discover more local & global”, exploring as much as possible of Egypt’s lesser-known destinations. From his adventures, #ThisIsEgypt & #RoamEgypt were born; hashtags he hopes will showcase Egypt in a different light to Egyptians & foreigners alike. "On a global scale we're just like a drop of water so we still have the ocean to discover. In the next few years I hope to shed light on newer projects I'm working on."



Is an expedition in the world of sustainable furniture design that aims to create sustainable furniture that can tackle both plastic waste and deforestation. The furniture is eco-friendly. It is made out of reused palette wood -that otherwise would've been thrown out- and the seating is made out of and stuffed with recycled plastic. The concept helps decrease the burden on our planet's natural resources, trees, specifically, in addition to tackling the plastic waste problem through reusing it instead of leaving it in landfills, or worse, allowing it to end up in our oceans.




Nora Aly:

is an independent designer, based in Cairo, Egypt.She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Arts from the German University in Cairo in 2011, and worked, for five years, as an Art Director in one of Egypt's leading independent agencies. Nora’s work was featured in several exhibitions; Weltformat 2018 in Switzerland, P21 gallery in London, Dubai Design week 2016 and 2017, Beirut Design week 2016, and the three rounds of 100 Best Arabic Posters . She also won three awards in Dubai Lynx, MENA's leading awards, and Festival of Creativity, in the Design category.



Ammar & Ahmed Shiha:
Ammar was born and raised in Al Hiraniya Village. He grew up having a strong relationship with visual arts and all its spectrums. He was fascinated by an artist’s ability to address an element of nature, by absorbing it totally and presenting it in a highly subjective way, where it inflicts happiness on the audience. 
He began using junk as a medium of expression at the age of 19. He puts together compositions based on the components, which he feels tell him what their function should be.
Ammar's son Ahmed soon followed in his father's footsteps. He creates small sculptures created from junk and is evolving his skills rapidly. 






Yasmine Sadek:

Yasmine is an architect and photographer. I'm very interested in sustainable architecture and urban planning, and I love to use photography to capture the city & its heritage!





 Seif Amr:

Seif is a 25 year old Egyptian who is a travel, street, and commercial photographer. His journey started 6 years ago when he was in college and had his first full time photography job in the second year of college. photography for him was always a getaway from life. "The way I shoot is never planned, unless I want it to be, I usually go out at random times of the day and shoot what I see in the best way possible and really just document our current life."


Soha Ahmed: 

Soha was born and raised in Cairo. She graduated from the school of Fine Arts school at Helwan University. Soha has always been interested in psychology. More specifically, the idea of how to represent a human being full of emotions and reflect on their journey from dealing with mental health to political and social problems. 





Salma ElSerafi: 

Salma ElSerafi, is a photographer and painter, but first and foremost, a PhD Researcher in Ecology living between Brussels, Cairo, and Dubai where she has been recognised academically and artistically with several awards and exhibitions. Ecology is a science that examines the interactions of living organisms and their communities with each other and their environment. Her photography has evolved as a tool beside her studies, motivated by a desire to appreciate and examine the intricacies in the way humans, animals, and their environments interlink. Her compositions aim to produce instances of everyday occurrences; to encourage a second look. Her process means that neither herself, nor the camera are in control, that role is played by chance. She is an observer outside of the composition. The automatic action of capturing a moment by luck is the pursuit of mindfulness, the state of active attention to the present, a healing process which fuels her photography. The present moment in mindfulness is not judged as good or bad but is appreciated for the fact that it just is. “Wildlife, architecture & people are all subjects of focus. Life and form mirror each other, and animate and inanimate subjects are more connected than we think. My images are nothing but an accident of chance. I attempt in my photography to predict a moment in order to discover it."




Quarantined at home, Samy Bishai decided that he needed to do something productive. At first he got the idea to print designs illustrating an interesting fact accompanied with a QR code that would link to a website which would allow people to discover more about the topic. He knew this concept wouldn't be popular enough, so he kept digging. As he was scrolling through Twitter one day, he discovered a trend where people would rank their favorite Cairo district by order of superiority. That's when it hit him! He decided that he could design T-shirts representing each one of the districts in which his friends lived featuring a QR code that would link to a website showcasing what the neighborhoods had to offer including fun facts, it's history, interesting photos, places to dine, activities to partake in etc... The designs of the t-shirts are inspired by Samy's deep obsession with cartography. He then spent the next few weeks painstakingly drawing maps of 7 different Cairo districts, each talking about 8 hours to complete. He also designed the website the QR code would lead to. And thus, Madani Cairo was born in the spirit of city pride and in hopes to help people learn more about their hometown. 



Amira Ihab:

Amira is a landscape photographer, yoga teacher & the co-founder of MEAD hub an art and design platform that helps support middle eastern artist."I am in constant awe of the natural world that surrounds us. The ability to create an image that speaks to the experience and the very essence of Nature is something I always aspire to do. I seek to express that single precious and timeless moment with its tug of the past and pull of the future; to put these ingredients into photograph capable of evoking within the viewer some semblance of the experience of being there at that singular, never to be repeated moment."Amira is always looking for elements like patterns, shapes, textures, colors, and light. Connecting with nature is healing and inspiring. And that moment while photographing always reminds her of the power of photography to foster connections with nature. Simply being in these wonderful and often ethereal places is nourishing to the mind and the soul.



Karim El Hayawan:

Karim El Hayawan is a Cairo-based visual artist and interior architect. After founding Design Point Studio-in Cairo in 2002, Karim began to develop his photography under the mentorship of Alaa Abdel Naby of Reuters. El Hayawan is continuously inspired by his hometown Cairo, relentlessly seeking visual vocabulary that defines the complexities of the ever-expanding urban metropolis. Ultimately, photography serves  as  his  narrative  tool  to  reveal commonalities  in collective experiences of life, with the key theme of his work being the concept of “universal metaphors”. His work has been exhibited at the “Contemporary Arab Photography Biennale” at the Institut Du Monde Arabe inParis,  The Grid Cape Town Biennale in South Africa, the off-Biennale in Cairo titled “Something Else”, Abu Dhabi Art at Hafez Gallery, Cite Internationale Des Arts Paris, Art D’Egypt and Darb1718 in  Cairo, in  addition  to the Egyptian pavilion at Dak’art Biennale. His work has been featured in numerous publications throughout the region. El Hayawan is also the founder of  Cairo Saturday Walks, an initiative that invites participants to explore different neighborhoods in Egypt through street photography, with proceeds of an annual group show going back to one of the frequently visited areas. An Initiative that was featured and highlighted on CNN’s “Connect the World” and “Destination Egypt”



Celine Gammal & Nour Jouayed:

"There is no bond, connection or chemistry like a Mother and Daughter. And with all the connections, comes the obvious differences.That’s why with CGNJ, we chose to harness our difference, and make art out of it. Our Classic vs Modern artwork, defines who we are, defines our passion to create beauty out of every situation and for every environment. Our objective has never been to give our paintings away, or to give them to galleries purely for the monetary benefit of them being sold. Our purpose is to study each and every aspect of the character that moulds our client. Understand their environment, their house, the colours; and create the ideal piece of art customised to perfectly personify their needs; and identify the best place for them to display that art piece. Whether the style is minimalist, or contemporary or even industrial ; through our method, we are able to provide our clients with entire collections, made solely and exclusively for them. We are aiming to bring each one of our clients a piece of art, that creates a bond between them and it; that exemplifies the bond between a mother and a daughter. Because we are a Mother, and Daughter. We are CGNJ."




"We are 3 friends who studied architecture and developed a great passion for designing, especially products that manifested architectural qualities in them. We started researching more and experimenting with a lot of different materials. It was a great challenge at first, as it seemed like local technology was not keeping up with our designs and ideas. It required a great deal of focus, dedication and determination to bring our thoughts to life. It took us a while until we were able to perfect our products and develop our branded look."


Hand Over:

Hand Over is a design and build company specialized in delivering environmentally-friendly and cost-effective building solutions using locally sourced, natural materials. We have been adapting the Earth construction techniques and delivering projects in different contexts; urban development, residential, commercial and public spaces. 



Ahmed Saafan:

Based in Cairo, Ahmed Hossam Saafan is an Architectural Designer focused on community contextual Architecture. Graduated from Misr International University, he pursued a prospective career path since then, passing through teaching at the university to teaching art at a local school in India whilst volunteering in various permaculture projects around the sub-continent. In 2017, his career was followed by working for leading design firms in Cairo such as A for Architecture, Cairo Urban Sketchers, and Takween integrated community development. In 2018 he was commissioned to design the Dawar El Ezba Cultural Center on which he received global awards, recognitions and nominations for the building of the year on prestigious architecture design magazines and websites.  This also followed getting published in scientific publications and books. Currently, Ahmed is working on prospective urban/Architecture/landscape/exhibition/community projects around Cairo and globally and he is excited to further share his collective design process with prospective communities that are in need.



Omar Mobarek: 

 Omar Mobarek is a designer, with a focus on clothing and branding. His career started in 2013. "I did the standard circuit of agency jobs until 2018, Ive been part of the creative team of Zooba since then. While all this was happening, I started a clothing brand right after I graduated called UNTY, that has stayed as the backdrop of my entire professional career." Omar's main influences are life in the city, specifically Cairo, sitting in traffic, walking the streets and personal experiences. Currently he is very inspired by global and independent record labels from the 70s to the 90s, hip-hop and electronic music, rave culture and imagery, 90s Japanese anime, iconography and imagery from the start of the Digital age, and magazines/editorial work from Egypt circa 1950-1970, with a focus on typography and illustration.



NL Art:
Laila Azmi and Nour Hussein are two young artists that are bringing to the Cairo art scene a new form of art- Contemporary Mix media. Their work blends photography, painting, and architectural conceptualisation into a unique form that tells beautiful stories of “Life in the City”. They are inspired by the long forgotten Egyptian crafts of – photography, hand-painting & glass painting - adding a contemporary twist to that age old forms of art. Born and raised in Cairo, with formal studies in architectural engineering, Laila and Nour follow a scientific technique in making their artwork. The end result is a layered piece of work comprised of mixed elements such as translucent prints, watercolours, golden leaves and vibrant acrylic brush strokes reacting with artificial and daylight creating a whole new experience.  Laila and Nour have set out to bring a new renaissance to this art form; telling stories about a city as old as time.


"At marsycreatesthings, we really just create cool sh*t for cool brands & sometimes ourselves. that's it. thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. "


Carmine Cartolano:
Carmine Cartolano aka Qarm Qart was born in 1972 in Buonabitacolo (Salerno). He studied Arabic and Persian at Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples. Artist, writer, and translator he has been living in Cairo since 1999.  He teaches Italian as a foreign language.