The annual Narrative PR Summit is introducing its third Egyptian edition “created by Egyptians for Egyptians” for Egypt’s communications industry. The summit is all about what works for Egypt rather than trying to copy foreign case studies and applying them here.

Identity magazine interviews the summit’s leader and three of the speakers to ask about the initiation of the Narrative PR Summit, its yearly progress and this year’s new approach for the summit.

Lamia Kamel

Lamia Kamel is the Managing Director of CC Plus, the multi-disciplinary communications consulting agency which announced the first and ultimate PR and media forum in Egypt, under the name Narrative Summit.

  1. How did you come about the idea of the Narrative PR Summit and what’s the biggest challenge you faced while launching this event? (Please mention the progress through the years)

The idea of having a summit was proposed to me by one of the junior members of the team in 2016. The notion was to have a PR summit to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I wanted to take it a notch further and do something for the industry and support the notion of nation branding by bringing together the best calibers- locally- and conducting a dialogue with global experts.

  1. The event is powered by CC Plus, yet numerous other PR agencies and competitors are participating in the event. Was it hard to convince them to participate?

Not at all. Most PR firms were more than happy to participate in such a great initiative.

  1. Why are you taking part in the Narrative PR Summit, and what do you hope to achieve?

I am hoping that nation branding takes a serious route. To be handed to the right people and having them held accountable for it. I am hoping that one day Egypt finds its place on the global map and regain its position as a true influencer across various disciplines, and to compete and reach high ranks in indexes related to destination, economic attractiveness and social impact.


Dina El Mofty

Dina El Mofty is Founder of INJAZ Egypt, an organization which has a strong educational focus on entrepreneurship and work readiness, and is part of the Junior Achievement worldwide network.

  1. Out of your personal experience with aspiring entrepreneurs, for those who failed, what was the main reason for it, and how can others avoid it?

What many might not be aware of is that failure is certainly a big part of the whole experience of being an entrepreneur. I know this might come as a surprise as it certainly doesn’t settle well with our culture. To be a successful entrepreneur, one must not be afraid to fail but the key here is to fail fast and learn and grow from that failure and move on. The point is to realize that something isn’t working, one must learn to pivot fast with their idea.

  1. Your job is to lead and teach aspiring entrepreneurs, however, through the years, what did you learn from those you worked with?

It’s certainly much more than a job, it’s an absolute passion for myself and everyone on our team. It gives us all great pride when we work with young people who have an idea they are excited about and we are able to help them and support them to bring that idea into reality. It takes time, perseverance and never giving up especially when faced with tough challenges but in the end, we’ve seen so many of our alumni become super success stories who continue to inspire others. And having seen so many of these great examples certainly taught us to believe that dreams and ambitions can come true.

  1. Why are you taking part in the Narrative PR Summit, and what do you hope to achieve?

It’s an honor to participate in the Narrative PR Summit and participate in this very important discussion on nation branding. My personal interest is to open the possibilities for Egypt to be recognized as a hub and center for entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.


Alia Abaza

Alia Abaza is a self-taught artist who started a collection of hand-painted scarves 7 years ago. In the following season, Alia Abaza launched her first line of handmade clothing, me by Alia. The brand moved internationally in 2016 by landing in Milan.

1-   You have a very different style and reflect a unique point of view in your designs. Were you afraid that the public might not understand your vision?

I think my designs are a bit complicated. When I decided to launch my collection I had this vision of mixing different styles, fabrics, cultures, though I knew not everyone will absorb it! Honestly, I think most women appreciate my designs, but it still doesn’t mean they would wear it. For me appreciating my vision is also very important.

2-  Your brand became an international brand, and not many Egyptians managed to do that. How did it happen for you, and what advice do you have for other designers who want to expand their brands?

I’ve had this dream for years but never had enough guts to do it till I got this email from a PR agency in Milan wanting to promote my designs in Europe. My advice for other designers is to have a goal and identity from the very beginning. Also, you need to learn to appreciate the risk and uncertainty as great things never come from comfort zones. Last but not least, fashion is tough so perseverance is a must!

  1. Why are you taking part in the Narrative PR Summit, and what do you hope to achieve?

Well, this is actually my first time to participate in any summit. I think sometimes it’s important to share your story with others as I’m sure there will always be someone to inspire!


Farzana Baduel

Farzana Baduel is Founder and CEO of Curzon PR, an award-winning, strategic public relations and communications agency that works across arts, culture, business and policy. Farzana set up Curzon in 2009 after previously serving as Vice Chair of Business Relations for the British Conservative Party.

1. Some people live and die without finding their passion. How did you find yours, and how do you advise others to pinpoint their passion?
I found my passion for public relations relatively late in life. In my early 30s, I was exposed to the world of PR during my role as Vice Chair for the Conservative Party’s Business Forum, soon discovering that when it comes to politics – perception is as important as reality.
If I were asked to give advice to others to guide them in finding their own passions, I would say that it is important to be exposed to a wide range of people, ideas, businesses, and different subject areas. I am always reading to seek knowledge.
I found my passion later in life because in my 20s I had no idea PR existed. If you read widely, network, volunteer, and make a commitment to experiencing new things; you are more likely
to be exposed to different disciplines…one of which may trigger a passion in you which you may flourish in.

2. When you first started your career in PR, what was your biggest weakness and how did you overcome it?
My biggest weakness or Achilles heel (so to speak) were two things, which I think are unquestionably interconnected, namely a lack of experience and a lack of knowledge.
I set up a PR company having worked within a political party but never formally a public relations agency – nor did I study it at degree level.
Because of this, I had a huge thirst for knowledge and made it my mission to understand the industry in its complete entirety. I made a significant effort to network. I would read up on
iconic practitioners in the industry as well as seek out the guidance of my peers and contemporaries, those whom I would turn to for recommendations on courses, books and PR
I discovered the work of influencers and thought-leaders, followed them on social media, read their blogs, attended networking events, read books on the history of PR, went to conferences, built relationships within the industry and also with the professional industry bodies: CIPR and PRCA.
I am now an accredited chartered practitioner, the highest level and status for a professional PR which demonstrates my ability to be a forward-thinking, strategic communicator.
After 9 years of practicing PR, I am now teaching, training and mentoring at the Oxford Foundry – a diverse, student-led community where innovation and creativity lives and breathes. I am also the resident PR expert as well as brand ambassador for The University of Oxford.
Although it has been a long journey, I wouldn’t change anything – I have enjoyed every challenge, every hurdle and every success immensely. I am truly passionate about public relations.

3. Why are you taking part in the Narrative PR Summit, and what do you hope to achieve?
I am honored to be participating in the Narrative PR Summit because I believe in Lamia’s leadership in creating a platform for country branding.
It is a subject which is one of my core specialisms and therefore, I am thrilled to be sharing my own knowledge and experience, but more importantly – I look forward to learning from my fellow panelists.
It is a critical moment for Egypt and this conference is a tool for the country to restore and reclaim its global narrative.
I have true admiration for Egypt, its people, its history and believe that the rebranding of the country will facilitate enhanced tourism, increase Foreign Direct Investment, elevate the
country’s position on the global stage and foster economic empowerment of its people. So long as authorities and governments can work with pioneers like Lamia, I truly believe that there is a bright future for Egypt.


The Narrative PR Summit 2018 will be taking place on October 28th at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. Tickets are available at Ticket Marche.