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Vision, passion, story, voice

Canon in the Middle East and Africa region are in the throes of a project to find and mentor four creative women, offering them Canon’s direct support to grow their brand and reach wider audiences in their respective creative fields. The idea follows this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge and builds upon it with the hashtag #womenwhoempower, with established female creatives extending their hand to four new, up and coming talents.
A year-long mentorship awaits four successful women who are looking to develop their brand and persona and each mentor comes from a different creative field, as set out by four ‘pillars’:
Women with a Vision 
Saudi photographer, artist and Canon ambassador Tasneem Alsultan gained acclaim for her 2015 project ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ and was herself mentored by photographer, artist and educator Tanya Habjouqa, after being selected by the Magnum Foundation/Prince Claus/AFAC's Arab Documentary Photography Programme.
Women with a Passion 
Egyptian contemporary artist, Gehan Fawzi was a housewife until she discovered her passion for painting fifteen years ago and has since worked under the tuition of European artists to develop her talents. She was invited to attend the ‘Mercatino Dell’Antiquariato’ Festival in Venice, Italy and Spectrum Art Basel week in Miami.
Women with a Story 
Art director, fashion photographer and Canon Ambassador Menna Hossam took the brave step to go freelance in 2018 and has never looked back. Today she works on her own personal storytelling projects while also creating fairytale images for international brands.
Women with a Voice 
A highly successful former news journalist and features editor, Marriam Mossalli is the founder of Niche Arabia, a luxury consultancy firm, advising brands specifically on the Saudi market. She was recently included in the prestigious global Business of Fashion 500 list and continues to contribute to international titles such as Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia, Marie Claire Arabia, and Hia Magazine.

Left: White and red text reading #WOMENWHOEMPOWER on a black background. Right: Four separate black and white portraits of the female mentors laid out in in a square. Clockwise from top left: Tasneem Asultan, Menna Hossam, Marriam Mossalli and Geha Fawzi.
The mentors will extend a hand of support to four up and coming female talents. Clockwise from top left: Tasneem Asultan, Menna Hossam, Marriam Mossalli and Geha Fawzi.

Applicants are simply asked to take to social media with a photo or one-minute long video and add a caption which explains the hurdles they are facing in building and scaling their creative brands. Using the hashtags of #WomenWhoEmpower, #ChooseToChallenge, #IWD2021 and #CanonME, as well as tagging Canon Middle East’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will get them seen by the judging team. The selected female creative will be featured each month on Canon Middle East and Africa social channels and will then work with Canon and their mentor to build their audience.
“Canon Middle East encourages women to speak about their challenges as well as celebrate their achievements,” said Mai Youssef, Canon Middle East’s Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director (META). “There are countless unknown artists and creative designers who deserve to be recognised and supported in the challenges they face as they work to create something unique for the world to see. We hope to give them a chance and voice through this campaign.”

Written by Esraa Ziadeh