Manar: A Ray of Hope

posted in Africa

Manar: A Ray of Hope

Do you believe in luck? Or would you say coincidence? Or Serendipity? Whatever you choose to call it, meeting Manar was a miracle. When I made a decision to go document AFCON in Egypt for Pan-African Sports, I had a list of interesting things to do, places to visit and connections to make but I arrive in Cairo with a plan to just “Wing It”.

Amongst my list to do was make amazing portraits/lifestyle photos while in Egypt. The plan was destined to fail as no one was really willing to help me bring my vision to life until I met an amazing photographer name George Mohsen. George is a prolific storyteller and documentary photographer. George consequently introduced me to Ahmed Hayman another superbly talented International photographer based in Egypt.

Hayman without hesitating contacted Manar and sent me her profile on Instagram. When I opened her profile 3 things jumped at me:
– Professional Model
– Olympic Champion
– Archery Hub
What her profile didn’t say was that she was an angel. I was so excited! I messaged her and it was almost as if we had known for ages! We setup a shoot for Monday and she swung to action. Looked for location, planned out a whole itinerary, sorted out what to wear and showed up way ahead of time.

After taking a couple of picture in the middle of the busy Moez street, she basically turned from model to friend, personal photographer and tour guide! Manar took me around the historical places and museums, taught me a lot of arabic words and we ate street food and drank tea.

Asking her what Manar meant, she said;

The ray of light that gives hope in a whole dark area. My mom always tell me that everyone of us has a mission in this life and it comes from their name, ☺ so i’m trying to be responsible enough for the name I got hahahah

After we left Moez Street, we drove to Zamalek in serious Cairo traffic, met up with George at Beanos where we had a great time talking cameras and drinking smoothies!

It was already a really fun day but we wrapped up with the Archery Hub where there was a lovely archery community and we met Coach Kairhat who has mentored champions and still training future champs like me.

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