Born and raised in Egypt, Aida’s life has been enriched by international travel and cross-cultural experience, and she incorporates her passion for cultural exchange into everything she does, from her volunteer work to her professional services. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1981; three children were born here, and in 1991 Aida, a certified interior designer, began importing furniture and goods from Egypt. She has over 30 years’ experience in education, business, and interior decorating — including designing the interior of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense building.
Recently, she found herself launching a new, two-fold mission: to help women entrepreneurs in Egypt market their goods, while at the same time informing people in her own American community about her rich cultural background. Cooking and Beyond will promote a new line of imported Egyptian cooking accessories, and a cookbook that, alongside its collection of recipes, will delve into the history, religion, family heritage and other cultural influences in Egyptian cooking.
When she first came to EWI, “I had too many ideas,” she says, but here, “I found clarity. They made me focus on my strengths.” She thinks of herself and the other artists at EWI “like a stone — I feel we are like diamonds and need someone to polish us — they made jewelry out of me. I am a foreigner but they made me fit.” EWI has helped her focus her energy, create a solid business plan, and practice and perfect “the pitch.” In particular, the ETS classes have given her “a deep learning experience and good exposure to other aspects needed in order to transform a vision into a reality.”
Written by Nina Sichel