Episodes
Dr. Ahmed Heikal is today’s guest on the show. As chairman and CEO of Qalaa Holdings, Ahmed is well known to many in the business community across the Middle East. Prior to founding Qalaa Holdings, Ahmed was an integral part of the rise and dominance of EFG-Hermes bank. To some, Ahmed is a polarizing figure. We talk candidly about the trajectory of his career, his appetite for risk and how he views the current phase of his career.  This episode is brought to you by: Marakez, Spaces for...
Published 05/16/22
Published 05/02/22
Clarissa is a multi-award winning journalist and Chief International Correspondent for CNN. She’s been reporting for over 15 years from various countries in the region, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. More recently, she covered the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, and she’s also been covering the Ukraine war. Clarissa is also the author of On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist, one of my favourite books of 2020. She talks about her unconventional childhood...
Published 05/02/22
I’m delighted to welcome Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi to the show. Sultan is someone I have long-admired from afar; a man who has worn many hats over the decades—businessman, art collector, activist, academic. Sultan’s story starts out as a proud son of Sharjah in the UAE before he came to the attention of a wide audience around the world for his activism during the 2011 revolutions in the Arab World. His heritage, nationality and deep sense of what it means to be Arab today is the thread that...
Published 04/18/22
We have the gorgeous Hend Sabri on the show! Hend is the queen of our cinematic hearts, and a leading light of both the silver and the small screens. Although a lawyer by training, Hend went on to star in ground-breaking roles such as Asmaa, where she portrays an HIV-positive woman in rural Egypt, and Ola in Ayaz-Atgawez, whom she recently brought back Finding Ola, which is available on Netflix. Hend has often taken on difficult and taboo subjects that are whispered about but not spoken about...
Published 04/04/22
I’m continuing my conversation with Kito de Boer for this special bonus episode about his role with the Quartet, a group tasked with mediating between Israel and the Palestinians. As Head of Mission of the Quartet, Kito brought his considerable business and negotiating acumen to the table to try and address this problem essentially from an economic perspective.  You can listen to the full conversation with Kito in your podcast player or on [our website]() Learn more about your ad choices....
Published 03/27/22
My guest on this episode is Kito de Boer. Kito spent nearly 30 years at McKinsey, and his exposure to the world of management consultancy as well as international political institutions has given him unique insights into what makes the world go ‘round. Kito also reveals himself to be a man of many hobbies and facets, acknowledging the grounding importance of family and the essential need for a satisfying ‘inner life’. He and his wife are avid collectors of Indian art. His work in helping set...
Published 03/21/22
We’re starting season 3 with the Soprano sensation Fatma Said. Fatma is a soprano taking the world of opera by storm. Since starting out at the iconic La Scala theatre in Milan, she tours the world as a soprano bringing beloved roles to life in productions spanning the traditional languages of opera; Italian, German, French and Russian. In October 2020 Fatma released her debut album with Warner Classics called El Nour, where she crosses cultures from Spain, Egypt and France and encompasses...
Published 03/07/22
We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to Season 2 of What I Did Next!  We’ve had a great line-up of guests, great feedback and some Apple Podcasts love by being included in their Best of 2021 selection. What more can a podcast ask for?! Tune in to our wrap-up episode where we discuss the highlights of the last 8 episodes and look ahead to Season 3. Listen to the show to hear about an exciting new announcement as well! Happy holidays everyone :) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...
Published 12/13/21
I’m delighted to welcome Prince Abbas Hilmi onto the last episode of Season 2. Prince Abbas Hilmi is a descendent of two Middle Eastern royal houses. Through his father, Prince Mohamed Abdel Moneim, he is a descendent of Mohamed Ali of Egypt, while his mother, Neslishah Sultan, was the granddaughter of Mehmed VI, the last Ottoman Sultan. A quiet and modest man, Prince Abbas Hilmi spoke to me about his unique life journey, weaving stories of royalty and history with the more contemporary...
Published 11/29/21
Meet Kim Ghattas, journalist, writer and lecturer. Kim’s career has been extensive and multi-layered. Kim, who is half Lebanese and half Dutch, shot to prominence as a BBC reporter, first covering Lebanon and then reporting on U.S. foreign policy from the United States.  Lately, she has gained recognition as an author of bestselling books. First came The Secretary and more recently, Black Wave, a must-read for all those interested and concerned about Middle East politics.  Listen to my...
Published 11/15/21
Bobby Chinn—celebrity chef, raconteur, comic, mimic and globetrotter—is my guest on the show this week. Perhaps best known in the Middle East as one of the judges on MBC’s highly rated show, Top Chef, Bobby brings a unique perspective on what a life journey should look like.  Our conversation covers everything from his peripatetic childhood to his steep learning curve trying to find the path that was best for him. Taking us on his journey we are entertained and awestruck by his innate...
Published 11/01/21
Meet Dr. Lama Al-Sulaiman; Wife, mother, business-woman and most notably, an unexpected pioneer of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Listen to her story, where she comes across as thoughtful and compassionate. She opens up about her challenges and talks passionately about helping the underdog and less fortunate as well as her fight to get women treated equally in the boardroom. This episode is brought to you by Marakez, Spaces for Life. Marakez is one of the largest mixed-use developers in...
Published 10/18/21
Today Hassan Al Damluji, the Deputy Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is our guest on the show.  We trace his life journey, from a young adult discovering his Iraqi roots, to his current role in public health. We talk about his work in the region and his developing a more global world view. Discover how chance trips and encounters have contributed in shaping Hassan’s path. This episode is brought to you by Marakez, Spaces for Life. Marakez is one of the largest mixed-use...
Published 10/04/21
Today I welcome Nada Debs to the show. Nada is a Lebanese designer who has re-invented the Levantine tradition of wood-work making. She has taken traditional techniques and given them a modern, contemporary twist. Nada works across a wide range of design including furniture, accessories, crafts, fashion and interiors. Nada’s life—from her childhood in Japan to graduate school in the US—have all laid the foundations for her professional and personal journey. The 'less is more’ aesthetic that...
Published 09/20/21
Today I am delighted to welcome journalist Max Rodenbeck to the show. From 2000 to 2015 he was the Economist’s man in the Middle East—in 2010, in an article for the magazine, Max predicted the seismic changes that were to come in Egypt in January 2011. Having been raised from the age of 2 years old in Egypt, Max is not your usual expat; his wife is Egyptian and he has deep roots in the country. Max is also the author of one of my favourite books, Cairo: The City Victorious, a must read for...
Published 09/06/21
We’re kicking off our new season with Fatma and Amina Ghaly, the two talented sisters who are the driving force behind the luxury jewelry brand, Azza Fahmy. They work hand-in-hand to ensure their mother’s philosophy and aesthetic are moved forward for a new generation of customers. The sisters have been instrumental in taking the firm from a local Egyptian niche company to a luxury international brand with 19 retail doors across the Middle East as well as in London and Washington DC, and a...
Published 08/23/21
📣 Season 2 begins August 23!  We’re thrilled to back with you for a new season of What I Did Next, starting Monday. Season 2 is a bit less Egypt-centric, we’ve cast a wider net to include an amazing line-up of guests from across our amazing region, and across a range of industries. We’re also excited to announce that the season will be sponsored by Marakez. Whether you listen to the show on your walk, your commute, your workout or simply bumming around, we hope you enjoy this season! Remember...
Published 08/21/21
We're wrapping up season 1 today with a slightly different episode. My producer Chirag Desai is turning the tables on me and asking me about my own life journey and the show's two staple questions. A big thank you to our guests this season, and to all of you for joining us, and leaving us wonderful reviews. A new season of What I Did Next is currently in the works with another amazing line-up of guests coming your way in a couple of months. Until then, please stay tuned to our Instagram...
Published 05/27/21
We're wrapping up season 1 today with a slightly different episode. My producer Chirag Desai is turning the tables on me and asking me about my own life journey and the show's two staple questions. A big thank you to our guests this season, and to all of you for joining us, and leaving us wonderful reviews. A new season of _What I Did Next_ is currently in the works with another amazing line-up of guests coming your way in a couple of months. Until then, please stay tuned to our...
Published 05/27/21
Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to reach the top of Everest, he’s climbed the 7 Summits and he has skied to both the North and South Pole. He is the founder of Wild Guanabana, one of the region’s leading adventure travel companies. In 2017, Omar took up a maritime challenge with his friend Omar Nour to highlight the plight of refugees who were crossing dangerous waters to seek a better life. That journey ended just 1000 kms later, and the men had to be rescued. The trip has become the...
Published 05/13/21
Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to reach the top of Everest, he’s climbed the 7 Summits and he has skied to both the North and South Pole. He is the founder of [Wild Guanabana](https://wildguanabana.com), one of the region’s leading adventure travel companies. In 2017, Omar took up a maritime challenge with his friend Omar Nour to highlight the plight of refugees who were crossing dangerous waters to seek a better life. That journey ended just 1000 kms later, and the men had to be rescued....
Published 05/13/21
My guest today comes from the world of advertising. Ali Ali is the co-founder of Good People Films and one of the most highly respected and sought-after advertising directors around. The Gunn Report named him one of the 10 most-awarded directors in the world and AdWeek placed him amongst the top 10 most exciting directors of 2020.
Published 04/29/21
My guest today comes from the world of advertising. Ali Ali is the co-founder of Good People Films and one of the most highly respected and sought-after advertising directors around. The Gunn Report named him one of the 10 most-awarded directors in the world and AdWeek placed him amongst the top 10 most exciting directors of 2020. Thanks to our partners [Marakez](http://marakez.net) for sponsoring this episode. Marakez is the leading mixed-used developer in Egypt, with an ever growing...
Published 04/29/21
My guest on this episode is Jehane Noujaim, a multi-award-winning director from the world of documentary film-making, specifically, the cinema verité genre. Jehane has captured the zeitgeist time and time again in her work. She’s the engine behind such well-known documentaries as Startup .com (2001) and Control Room (2004). More recent films include The Square (2014), the Great Hack (2019) which is available on Netflix, and the series The Vow on HBO, all produced in collaboration with her...
Published 04/15/21