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Meet Alia Adel

Alia Adel is an iconoclastic filmmaker from Cairo, Egypt, the center of Middle Eastern cinematic culture. From an early age, she challenged stereotypes to forge her own path. The daughter of doctors, she defied her parents’ expectations to pursue a career in the arts. As a student in the Faculty of applied Arts, Photography, Cinema and TV, she again pushed back against societal expectations and choses to wear a traditional Niqab. After her colleagues and professors saw the quality of her work, they quickly came to realize that what you wear and what you believe does not determine your destiny. In her words, “I get both positive and negative comments, but I always listen to my heart. I just keep doing what I love because I believe judging people by their appearance is a short-sighted thing to do.” In a few short years, Alia has earned international recognition for her films and become a minor celebrity in Egypt.

I choose to create my own middle ground. I’m a filmmaker and devout, the daughter of doctors and an artist. Being an artist and a filmmaker means everything to me. The thing I love most about filmmaking is storytelling. I think it’s magic that in five minutes or less you can tell life-long stories. It’s challenging and what keeps me passionate about the field.

Creating “Eman” and “Helping Her, Helping the Community”

My goal for the Crop Gap project was to help people outside the agricultural community connect with the women’s stories. I filmed them with their families in intimate, everyday moments. I spoke to them about their daily tasks and the satisfaction they find in their work. I tried to shine a light on their passion for farming. These women were incredible, and I connected with them instantly. They believe in themselves, and they are committed to doing their best for their families.

Equality for All

I’m grateful to PepsiCo and CARE for helping to share these women’s stories with the world. I believe that men and women should have equal opportunities. Women can work just as well as men, even in the agricultural industry. I want people to value agriculture and to give more opportunities to women working in the field, and my hope is that will start with Egypt. My hope is that one day Egypt will be a beacon for the world—somewhere everyone dreams to live.

Alia Adel's Signature