Although She Can was a female-dominated event, Ismail Fouad Kassem, one of the popular social media influencers, was there hosting the event alongside Yasmine Ghaith. Kassem is known for the videos and posts he shares on his own Facebook page most of which revolve around topics related to women.
Our team had the chance to meet Ismail and converse with him about his opinion about women empowerment in general, and how he thinks the content he shares fulfills that cause. Here are his thoughts.
1) What drove you to accept this event’s invitation?
Because it’s pretty much in line with what I believe in, I believe that the role of Arab females is vital for our progress. We came from a very traditional mentality but what I know for sure from my experience in social media that the brains of young women have already changed, their personalities have changed, but they still have trouble making the whole society understand. I believe that I can help them convey this message. As soon as they called me, and I heard of She Can and entrepreneurship for girls, I didn’t hesitate to be a part of it.
2) We’ve been following up with your content, and we wanted to ask you in what ways and to what extent do you think your content is empowering women?
I think that the thing I do best is making girls in the Arab world realize they’re not alone. I’m giving them a voice. The way they think is different but not as different that they think, there are a lot of people who have the same beliefs as them but are afraid to say them out loud. The thing that really comes to me the most as feedback is that “You spoke my mind” so when a girl coming from upper Egypt, Morocco or Kuwait tells me something like this it means a lot. Girls nowadays can speak, travel and have fun. It’s really comforting to know that this is the future of our generation.
3) Does respecting women come from home or you gain it through experience?
Definitely, it starts from home. Especially moms, as moms are the source of life. I really think that the whole Arab world should realize that. It’s really different now, I started talking about these issues almost three years ago and look at women now they’re completely different. With conferences happening, media, brands sponsoring and everyone’s supporting women. So, let’s choose another topic to stand with. Women don’t need anyone’s help anymore.
4) What’s the next topic you think needs to be discussed nowadays?
I think it’s teenagers. They’re my next mission. I will target them through awareness. The moment you grab people’s attention about something, they all start talking about it. When people see things, stand still and not talk about them, they’re never going to change. But when you come out and say something and everyone agrees to it, automatically people change. It happens as a collective way.
5) What advice would you like to give to college students, especially girls since the event is girl-related?
You have to learn to say no; no peer pressure, no boyfriend, no parent, no one has the right to make you say yes when you want to say no. It’s your life, not theirs. I know it’s hard fighting everything that’s coming from family and tradition, but you have to fight about how you want to live your life. Stand your ground. Be strong. Don’t take no as an answer. Also, don’t forget to have fun. Just enjoy life and live day by day.
We would love to thank Ismail for his time, and we’re looking forward to his next steps in empowering teenagers.