Heba Elkayal

171 Articles

Latest by Heba Elkayal


Lifestyle highlight: Charitable fashionistas

A stroll through Mounaya, one of Cairo’s most beautiful boutiques, is a relaxing experience. The brainchild of sisters-daughter team Ghada and Rufayda Abdel Hak and Rufayda’s daughter Rudayna, Mounaya offers beautiful jewelry, bags, home wares and novelties designed and produced locally. Best of all, there’s always an Orientalist twist to the products. As the boutique …

Heba Elkayal

Let there be light

The Italians are known for doing many things right: suits, shoes and food, among others. But they are also ahead of the game when it comes to furniture design and lighting, a tricky aspect of interiors that requires not only the mind of an engineer but the captive eye of a true artist. The makers …

Heba Elkayal

Nanimarquina: Doing the rug thing

It is so easy to overlook where one treads their footsteps. In our contemporary lives, our floors are neglected as we live above ground level on couches. That is the argument of Nani Marquina, a Spanish textile designer who was the first to work on the concept of designer rugs. Marquina studied industrial design in …

Heba Elkayal

Rosita Missoni: An icon of design

Rosita Missoni clearly loves life. She also loves the simple luxuries of life, and so it comes as no surprise that she has created a home interiors line that honors the philosophy of her iconic brand. Along with husband Ottavio Missoni, Rosita Missoni is a leader of patterned knitwear, having established the brand in 1953. …

Heba Elkayal

King of color: Edward van Vliet

When the crown price of Holland was getting married, the country marked the occasion in different ways, most notably with design interpretations. Commissioning Edward van Vliet was Bijenkorf, Amsterdam’s largest department store, which marked the occasion by displaying the designer’s interpretation of a throne in the form of two modern armchairs. The armchairs are light …

Heba Elkayal

Poliform: Cool interiors with a colorful twist

Poliform is so unbearably cool, its furniture must be designed with a suave Bond man in mind. By collaborating with different artists, Poliform also produces furniture that is boldly colorful and confidently patterned Established in 1942, this Italian brand is renowned for offering high quality products at fair prices, keeping ahead of the multitudes of …

Heba Elkayal

Like jewelry for your room

The creations of Dutch lighting firm Brand van Egmond are so feminine that, one could argue, they define the ideal modern woman by their form and shape: sexy, tough, enigmatic. Merging the classic concept of chandeliers with novel materials and forms, Brand van Egmond evokes the question of why one hangs chandeliers in the first …

Heba Elkayal

Speaking out with images of silence

Soft spoken and delicate, a new player has emerged onto Cairo’s art scene with canvases as soft and feminine as the artist herself. Marwa Adel is only 25 but her work – currently on display at Safar Khan Gallery – reflects a maturity of spirit with subject matter that highlights the angst of young women …

Heba Elkayal

A Willy Wonkan affair

The Four Seasons First Residence had the brilliant idea of creating a weekly full-fledged chocolate buffet ala Willy Wonka; to an extent. The visual sight of so much chocolate arranged in cakes, tarts, and mousses layered in glasses like trifle made me giggle like a little girl. A chocolate fountain freely bubbling and flowing made …

Heba Elkayal

Voice Dialogue: Interactive Therapy

Voice dialogue is the latest in alternative medicine, offering a new approach to exploring oneself. It involves engaging oneself in a personal dialogue to explore the variety of voices one has with which they speak to themselves as well as to others. The technique is used to explore one’s personal psyche with one’s own promptings …

Heba Elkayal

IWC Haute Horlogerie: The enchanting world of watch making

The magic of the watch-making craft and the human ingenuity involved came to life in a seminar held recently by Felopateer Palace, a local watch boutique with several branches in Cairo. It was part of the Swiss International Watch Company’s (IWC) promotion of its unique Leonardo Da Vinci line. Coming to lead the watch-making seminar …

Heba Elkayal

Gastronomy imitates art

A dining experience should, in my opinion, never be experienced twice, even at the same restaurant. Aqua at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza has established itself as the home of experimental cuisine with a base in authentic and traditional French dishes. With Chef Christophe Gillino as executive chef, Aqua has consistently composed and reinterpreted – …

Heba Elkayal

DJ David Guetta spins in Cairo

DJ David Guetta performed in Cairo for the first time at The First Mall Thursday night. The throngs of eager concert-goers were testament to Guetta’s worldwide popularity, globally launched by his success in 2005 with the chart-topping single “The World is Mine. Guetta was recognized years before in his native France, and has been ranked …

Heba Elkayal

Queen for a day at Four Season's Alexandria spa

Alexandria is home to many things, literary and historical characters, wonderful seafood and ancient ruins. This once glamorous seaside city is slowly but surely reviving its luster. Today, Alexandria offers a retreat from the chaos of Cairo, particularly during the winter and spring seasons when the throngs of tourists leave the city. The Four Seasons …

Heba Elkayal

Ostrich? Tastes just like chicken

Carnivore restaurant, on the Trianon boat in Giza, has been pleasing Cairenes to no end. With an all-you-can-eat red and white meat buffet for around LE 150, it seems like a great deal. With a large seating area divided into various outdoor and indoor sections, an extensive drinks menu, and professional carvers slicing large skewers …

Heba Elkayal

Eveningwear summer trends: Dramatic and metallic

The spring and summer seasons are breeding grounds for wedding celebrations and the usual little black dress won’t do. Summer weddings are opportunities to experiment with and enjoy bright colors and sartorial flair. The attendees of this year’s Metropolitan Costume Gala exhibited new evening trends that have a little something for every woman and setting …

Heba Elkayal

Help, it's all Greek to me!

I can’t say that I really know my way around the kitchen, and attempts on my part to venture inside require courage of which I have very little. Fears of gas ovens exploding or hot water scalds are magnified in my mind by my own personal neuroses. Cooking was like high school math, all Greek …

Heba Elkayal

Men's summer trends 101

Menswear trends are often harder to spot than women’s trends, but to make life a little easier, here’s a break down to keep our gentlemen look fabulous this summer. Snow white for spring: Christopher Bailey, as head designer of Burberry, is proving that old and established doesn’t need to be stuffy. Burberry brought back white …

Heba Elkayal

A tête-à-tête on fashion trends

When you win a national fashion design competition at age 16, and you’re judged by Dame Vivienne Westwood to have the most creative designs among thousands of entries, you’re on the right track to the world of fashion. Lady Kinvara Balfour grew up in London as one of four fashion conscious girls with an ever …

Heba Elkayal

French food for the soul

The struggle to understand French food on my part has recently been resolved. I have come to grips with their philosophy of using only the finest, and oftentimes the most obscurely, unfamiliar ingredients such as tapioca pearls. I have also resigned myself to small delicate portions. I have consented to having my taste buds teased …

Heba Elkayal

Cycling for Gaza, cycling for aid

CAIRO: It is a sad reality that only four months after the 22-day Gaza onslaught, it has already been put on the back burner. The wreckage of hospitals and schools, the loss of more than 1,300 people and the displacement of 90,000 no longer stirs people’s thoughts or the media. Yet some have not forgotten, …

Heba Elkayal

Ginger and Spice and everything nice

What does one get when two best friends, both mothers of toddlers, having an avid passion for baking, and a mind frame for eating consciously healthy food, come together? Ginger and Lace: a bakery for artisan bespoke cookies with the finest ingredients sourced from Egypt. Basma Hamdy and Nora Abdel Salam Hussein are two young …

Heba Elkayal

Cairo's best steak

There is steak and there is steak at the Cairo Marriot Hotel’s Steakhouse. It offers a menu encompassing a variety of delicacies and the choicest cuts of steak from America, Brazil and Argentina. The restaurant itself is a departure from the orientalist theme of the hotel, exuding an air of the classic charm of an …

Heba Elkayal

A touch of mamma's cooking

A meal at Da Mario is like a home-cooked meal that warms your stomach and heart through and through. The cuisine is Italian, and unlike many restaurants in town that claim to be authentic, it was my lunch at Da Mario that made me feel nostalgic for a trip to Rome I took last spring …

Heba Elkayal

Cooking with Clara

Clara Bubenzer is slowly changing the way people shop, cook and eat in Egypt with her work at the country’s first gourmet grocery service. The 25-year-old South African-German chef recently graduated from Granger Bay Hotel School in Cape Town and moved to Cairo in February 2008. Her work at Gourmet Egypt started when she came …

Heba Elkayal

Bold colors from down under

Over the past week, Egypt’s fashion aficionados and socialites were either shopping at Carl Kapp’s trunk show or talking about it; it was the first time the Australia-based South African has brought his designs to Cairo. Kapp launched his self named label in 2006 and before long, cultivated a cult following that includes Nicole Kidman …

Heba Elkayal

How to decorate one's Terra

More people today are considering contemporary tastes and ideas in home decoration and renovation, a departure from the ubiquitous gilded French style that peppered every self-respecting Egyptian’s home. Off with the old, and on with the new is the attitude de jour. There’s a new-found emphasis on comfortable living to be complimented by home accessories …

Heba Elkayal

Trunk show delight

Carl Kapp, known for dressing numerous stars including Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett and other Aussie fashionistas, has brought his Spring/Summer 09 collection to Cairo from Australia in collaboration with Jawhara Nafa. The trunk show, which includes, cocktail and evening wear and pieces that can be worn day into night, is held at the Ikan …

Heba Elkayal

Pop calligraphy

Osman Andrew Young is recognized by his students and colleagues at the American University in Cairo (AUC) for being a brilliant professor. He teaches with passion and is his humor makes students clamor for the limited spaces in his classes. Both his humor and passion are evident in his latest works, a series on the …

Heba Elkayal

Redefining Art/chitecture

From a university student to founding a successful self-named firm in just a little over 10 years, architect Shahira H. Fahmy’s career is a remarkable story to follow. Fahmy graduated top of her class in 1997 from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, and was offered the prestigious recognition and rank of becoming an Assistant …

Heba Elkayal