By: Malak Sekaly “There is a tranquility in these [Arab] cities with great rivers. Whether it's Cairo or Baghdad, you sit there and you think, 'This river has flown here for thousands of years.' There are magical moments in these places.” – Zaha Hadid Malak Helmy, a proud 19-year-old Egyptian, is currently a student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts in London, studying Ceramics Design. She has been studying and practicing art for many years now, being a holder of the International Baccalaureate Art Certificate. Aspiring designer, Helmy understands the power of the homeland and uses her environment as a catalyst for her unique designs.

Units made into an Islamic star; #design #CSM #UAL #wood #mdf #prototype

A photo posted by Malak Amr Helmy ملك عمرو حلمي (@malakhelmydesigns) on

Being passionate about art and design her entire life, she strives to gain knowledge and skill through any experience she encounters. Passion is evident in her household as Helmy was born into the design industry with her father, Amr Helmy being the CEO of Amr Helmy Designs and as her older brother studied product design. She finds it amusing that her father was able to link various and diverse cultures to his products in addition to a story behind each product. This specific reason was what initially inspired her interest in design. In addition to that she intends to expand her knowledge in order to come back to Egypt and advance the design industry, which she thinks lacks passion.
When work was in progress; #design #egypt #art #wood #UAL #CSM #workshop #sander A photo posted by Malak Amr Helmy ملك عمرو حلمي (@malakhelmydesigns) on
“I see myself growing differently as a designer in comparison to many Egyptian designers as I look at practicality, sustainability, function, simplicity and quality rather than the mainstream idea of a good looking design,” she explained. Helmy’s love for art and design was planted and nurtured by her father who showed her how he did not work a day in his life; rather he spends everyday doing something he loves. She explains that she later understood that her talent was given to her for a purpose; to make a difference, whether that includes make sustainable advancements possible or improving living conditions.

Some Pink Floyd influenced prints #pinkfloyd #musicinspired #music #prints

A photo posted by Malak Amr Helmy ملك عمرو حلمي (@malakhelmydesigns) on

Being an Arab female designer has many challenges, and Helmy addresses them saying that, “being an Egyptian woman, people may think it would be harder to grow as a female icon like Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi born British architect who was known to be one of the best architects/designers in history. However, being brought up by a very zealous and caring woman, I feel that being a female icon is a much stronger statement than being a man in this country. People look up to you, as they believe it must have been a tougher experience for you to make it to the top. I am proud to be an Egyptian brought up in Cairo as it gives me a very strong cultural background as well as many products that tell stories.” Interested in different types of materials, whether environmental friendly or advanced technology based, Helmy is more focused on widening her horizons as she showcases her accomplishments, which she recently created an Instagram account for. The account consists of all her work from grade 10 all the way through her first year of university. She explains that her objective behind the account is to create an identity for herself within the industry in Egypt and worldwide.
Saad Zaghloul; in the style of Van Gogh #saadzaghloul #egypt #heroes #vangoh #inspired #art #artwork A photo posted by Malak Amr Helmy ملك عمرو حلمي (@malakhelmydesigns) on
Helmy still hasn’t put her work up for sale yet, she's still waiting to create that product which she hopes to go viral with. So make sure you follow her and be the first to know when it happens!