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A photo of Reem Kassem smiling

A University of the West of Scotland (UWS) doctoral student has been selected on a prestigious annual list, highlighting the most inspirational women from Egypt.

Reem Kassem, who studies at UWS’s highly-regarded School of Business and Creative Industries, has been named as one of Women of Egypt’s 50 inspirational women for 2021.

Women of Egypt is an advocacy group, founded by screenwriter and novelist Alexandra Kinias, aimed at empowering women in the country.

Reem has had an illustrious career, working in a number of high profile roles, including as Head of Performing Arts at the Library of Alexandria. She currently works as a Theatre Programmer at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi.

“I am delighted and honoured to have received this honour from Women of Egypt."
Reem Kassem

The PhD student is also co-founder of Basita.live, an innovative virtual platform allowing the cultural sector to host online performances during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project, which is the focus of her doctoral research, was also recently highlighted by the Abu Dhabi investment office, as part of a feature looking at the top female industry leaders working in the United Arab Emirates.

Reem said: “I am delighted and honoured to have received this honour from Women of Egypt. It means a lot to be recognised for my work in this way, and I am extremely grateful.”

Professor Katarzyna Kosmala, Reem’s PhD supervisor at UWS, alongside Professor Graham Jeffrey, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Reem has been named one of the most 50 inspirational Egyptian Women by Women of Egypt.

“Her doctoral research, investigating cultural engagement in the context of crisis, focusing on resilience building and community wellbeing in a digital age, has such a real application.

“Even during the current pandemic she has found a way to make a difference, supporting a sector that has been hard-hit economically through the innovative Basita.Live. Her work in the cultural sector over the past 17-years can only be admired.”

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