From Her View
By Liz Warner
From Her ViewJun 25, 2021
Nour Brahimi: First Female Algerian Travel Vlogger
For season one's grand finale, I’m introducing you to a woman who’s dedicated her life to documenting the beautiful hidden gems of the world - and blazing a path for other women along the way.
Nour Brahimi is the first female Algerian travel vlogger, who in 2019 was nominated as the best Algerian YouTuber and Instagrammer and named one of the 100 most influential young Africans. She’s also an EU goodwill ambassador and a video consultant hoping to flip the script about female influencers and display the depth that often gets overlooked on social media.
Growing up in Algeria in a family that couldn’t afford to travel, Nour had her worldview turned upside down when she came to find the beauty and excitement in the most unexpected places. In this conversation, she shares how she tries to stay present while traveling as a vlogger, the beauty people overlook in Algeria, and the most romantic country she’s planning to come back to for her honeymoon. This episode is like a breath of fresh air, and it’ll have you booking plane tickets for your next destination. I hope you enjoy.
Edna Adan Ismail: The Mother of Somaliland
You’ve heard about Somalia. But what about Somaliland, a self-declared sovereign state which broke away and declared its independence thirty years ago?
Often labeled as the MOTHER OF SOMALILAND, Today’s guest is a living legend who’s left an indelible mark on her home country.
After growing up in British Somaliland at a time when girls weren’t educated, Edna Adan Ismail trained to become her country’s first qualified nurse-midwife. But she didn’t stop there - Edna went on to open a maternity hospital in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, where she works to combat the country’s high rates of maternal and infant mortality.
As if that weren’t enough, Edna also served as the only female minister in the Somaliland government, advocating fearlessly for women and children. She’s made it her life’s goal to put an end to female genital mutilation, which over 99% of women aged 15-49 in Somalia and Somaliland undergo.
There’s no end to the list of achievements this woman has completed against all odds. In our conversation, she shares everything from her father’s words that inspired her career, why she chose to sleep in a construction site while her hospital was being built, and what makes Somaliland such a uniquely beautiful country. I hope you enjoy.
Vedangi Kulkarni: Blazing a Trail Around the World for Women of Color in Adventure
Have you ever had the impulse to drop everything and start off on a risky, ambitious adventure? Today I’m introducing you to a woman who felt this calling at a young age - and keeps saying “yes” to it.
Vedangi Kulkarni is a 22-year-old adventure-traveller who in 2018 became the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world on a bicycle, a journey she completed mostly solo and unsupported. If that wasn’t courageous enough, she recently started her own business called The Adventure Shed, through which she aims to make adventure more accessible by helping others plan some pretty insane adventure expeditions.
Having spent her childhood in India but crafting an adult life in the UK, Vedangi’s definition of “home” is a little more complex than most. This episode is a thrill ride through her craziest adventures - everything from moments of the heart-warming kindness from total strangers to the trauma of being mugged at knifepoint while biking through Spain - as well as a thoughtful, layered discussion on mental strength, passport privilege, and the difficulty of being a woman of color in adventuring.
Get ready for a deep dive into the life of a woman who embraces discomfort on a daily basis, and get a taste of the mindset that’s enabled her to overcome the craziest challenges and keep moving forward. I hope you enjoy.
*This episode contains a few curse words and is therefore tagged as explicit.*
Alaa Al-Eryani: Fighting for Feminism in Yemen
This inspiring episode features a passionate feminist and aspiring filmmaker leading the charge against gender inequality in Yemen.
When Alaa Al-Eryani realized that many people around her hadn’t heard of feminism, she took it upon herself to educate thousands of Yemeni women in Yemen and around the world about their rights, as well as their ability to become leaders of change in their communities.
Yemen is often ranked as one of the most difficult places to be a woman, and she’s hoping to shed a light on the everyday instances of sexism that get normalized in her home country.
Alaa also wants people to recognize how incredibly badass Yemeni women are. Especially in the midst of the current conflict, women in Yemen are more often than not the breadwinners of their families, and their efforts don’t always get the acknowledgement they deserve.
You definitely won’t want to miss this conversation with a fierce Yemeni feminist, where we cover both the joy and the pain she’s experienced in the lush, green, beautiful landscapes of Yemen. I hope you enjoy.
Maheen Khan: Forging a New Path for Fashion in Bangladesh
The media paints a very bleak picture of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
Today, I’m talking to someone who made it a life mission to change this and create a new narrative around ethical fashion in her home country: Maheen Khan.
To give a bit of context, Bangladesh is the second-largest individual country in the world for apparel manufacturing, second only to China.
The garment industry is the largest business in the country, and it has a history of disaster and mistreated, underpaid workers, exemplified in the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in April 2013, in which more than 1,000 garment workers lost their lives.
Maheen broke the mold when in 2017 she founded a sustainable fashion start-up called Monokrome, with the hope of offering Bangladeshi women in particular local fashion options that are tailored to their needs.
This episode is chock-full of wisdom about how to do intersectional work in fashion and the ways in which the industry has evolved to offer more opportunities to empower women.
You’ll hear about Maheen’s love for storytelling, why sustainability is so important in fashion, and the memories of moments in Dhaka that give her goosebumps. I hope you enjoy.
Samira Negm: Revolutionizing Travel for Women in Egypt
Ever felt frustrated with what feels like spending a huge chunk of your life commuting to work?
Well, so was Samira Negm, formerly a software engineer in Cairo, Egypt, now a founder of Raye7, a culturally sensitive ride-sharing mobile app that helps reduce the enormous amount of time Egyptians are stuck in traffic and above all, provides safe car sharing for women.
To provide a bit of context as to just how big of a problem Samira’s ride sharing app is solving, here are just a few statistics. When it comes to traffic, Cairo is one of the most congested cities in the entire world -- so much so, that it costs the city close to 20 billion euros a year or 3 percent of its total GDP because of wasted time and also wasted gas. You can also imagine the massive environmental consequences of this, as well.
Then, there is huge issue of sexual harassment that very often takes place on public transportation for women in Cairo. Close to 85% of Egyptian women reported to have experienced sexual harassment on public transportation sometime in their life, with only 2-8 percent having reported the incident.
So, in this episode, you’ll hear from Samira about what it means to have devoted her life’s work to finding game-changing solutions to these massive problems, the challenges and triumphs she experienced starting out as a female CEO in Cairo, how women get left behind in the gap between Uber and public transport, and what makes Egypt a very exciting place for women in STEM - maybe even more so than many other countries around the world.
I hope you enjoy.
Abul Oyay: Sparking Change Through Art in South Sudan
Today’s episode features a fierce activist who creates change a little differently, but in an equally powerful way - through art.
Abul Oyay is a prominent South Sudanese painter and a founding member of #Anataban, a collective of creatives in South Sudan who use their art as a platform for youth to advocate for peace and justice in the country.
She is also the founder of The Baobab Art Foundation which was born out of the desire to create one of South Sudan’s first exhibition spaces to showcase the work of contemporary South Sudanese and international artists.
It is very worthy to mention just how admirable all of Abul’s personal and professional endeavors have been, considering South Sudan’s precarious peace process. According to several recent studies, South Sudan currently ranks among one of the world’s most dangerous countries due to ongoing conflict as a result of the 2013 Civil War.
However, the government has singled out gender equality as key to reconstruction, offering a glimmer of hope that the country will find peace and equality before too long.
In this thought-provoking interview, Abul shares what art means to her, and how she’s been able to use her talent to change the way people see her home country - and its women, whose strength often goes unnoticed.
I’m excited for you to listen to a story that takes you beyond the political headlines to the women on the ground in South Sudan leading vibrant, meaningful lives. I hope you enjoy.
Fereshteh Forough: Transforming Women's Lives Through Code in Afghanistan
Today I’m introducing you to a computer science phenom and a true trailblazer: Fereshteh Forough.
Born an Afghan refugee in Iran, Fereshteh earned both her Bachelors and her Masters degree in Computer Science before founding Code to Inspire, the first coding school for girls in Herat, Afghanistan.
You might think that teaching web design to girls in Afghanistan would be an uphill battle, but Fereshteh’s story is one of profound hope and optimism.
You’ll learn the crazy way she ended up majoring in Computer Science, hear some moving success stories of some of the Code to Inspire students, and find out what’s the first thing the incredibly hospitable Afghan families offer when a guest walks in the door.
It’s an eye-opening, heartening episode that will show you a new way to view Afghanistan that’s more beautiful and rich than you could ever imagine. I hope you enjoy.
Adriana Heredia Sánchez: Unlocking Your Inner Entrepreneur in Cuba
In today’s episode, I talk with Cuban economist, professor, and entrepreneur Adriana Heredia Sánchez.
Adriana is the co-founder and CEO of Beyond Roots, a Havana-based business focused on promoting Afro-Cuban culture from different perspectives to tourists.
As you’ll hear in our conversation, the rich Afro-Cuban culture, rooted in the legacy of resistance and resilience to slavery, imperialism, and colonialism of Black communities in the Americas, remains a central and celebrated core of modern Cuban identity.
Beyond Roots was born out of Adriana’s desire to give tourists an authentic, educational experience of a legacy of Cuba that was previously overlooked.
Her warm energy is simply infectious, and you won’t be able to tear yourself away from our chat, where we talk about what it’s like to start your own business in Havana, discovering your inner entrepreneur, and the small, everyday ways to support other women locally and around the world. I hope you enjoy.
Nelly Attar: Getting Saudi Arabia Moving
I could not be more excited to finally be releasing the first From Her View episode!
Today, I kick things off with a rich conversation with entrepreneur, trainer, athlete, and all-around sports superstar Nelly Attar.
Nelly is a Lebanese national, born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and in 2017 she quit her full-time job as a therapist and life coach to start teaching body-weight fitness and dance classes in Saudia Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh.
Yes, you heard that correctly. You might think that Saudi Arabia would be less than welcoming to a woman starting her own dance studio.
But Nelly’s story reveals the warmth, energy, and openness that most people overlook in Saudi culture.
We talk about her journey to starting MOVE, what the media gets wrong about Saudi Arabia (hint: it’s a lot), and what one does next after literally summiting the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest.
It’s an episode full of thoughtful, wise insights about the incredible power of doing what you love and sharing it with other women along the way. I hope you enjoy.