Asmaa Galal: A Star Is Born

BY Rohma Theunissen / Oct 16 2019 / 12:09 PM

We sit down with Egyptian actress Asmaa Galal, star of upcoming show 'Mamlaket Eblees'. This is why she needs to be on your radar.

Asmaa Galal: A Star Is Born
Photography by Baher Khairy

At 24, Asmaa Galal is already regarded as one of Egyptian cinema’s rising stars. The stunning actress plays the complex role of an impoverished girl battling with morality in the highly-anticipated Arabic series Mamlaket Eblees, which is set to release next month. Asmaa was personally hand-picked by the series’ influential director, Ahmed Khaked Mousa to play the role of Ghorayeba; affirming her status as a leader within the new generation of regional acting talent.

“This has been my most powerful and challenging role to date,” says Asmaa. “I know that actors often say that about their latest projects, but playing Ghorayeba was a formative experience that forced me to work on myself as a person,” explains the starlet. The self-made actress has already gained critical acclaim for her remarkable on-screen presence and outstanding acting abilities; a rare combination specially given her age.

Photography by Baher Khairy

A devotee of the method acting approach, Asmaa’s high emotional identification with the characters she portrays has proven to be a key factor to her on-screen success, enabling her to hold her own even when working with well-established actors such as Mohamed Ramadan, with whom she shared the screen in her breakthrough role in Nesr El Se3eed. “He’s a cultural icon,” says Asmaa of Mohamed Ramadan. “It was because of him, that the masses started to recognize me. The guy filling my car at the gas station, the cashier at the supermarket – it felt like a real breakthrough moment as people started to recognize and appreciate my work.”

To prepare for the role of Ghorayeba, an ambitious young girl from the slums, Asmaa actively went undercover to spend time in some of Egypt’s most impoverished areas to gain an understanding of Ghorayeba’s way of life, her challenges and her mindset.  And it is this very dedication that has allowed Asmaa to break into the notorious fickle world of cinema. “I’ve wanted to act since before I can remember, but accessing the industry wasn’t easy,” reminisces Asmaa. “I had to find my voice and really prove myself. I took countless workshops with renowned acting coaches such as Gerald James, Luke Lehner, Laurence Rudic, and Marwa Gebril to understand what was required of me. You need to make sure to work hard and fight for what you believe in. You cannot rely on anyone to push you forward and to make things happen for you.”

Asmaa plays the role of Ghorayeba in 'Mamlaket Eblees'

It is apparent that it was this emotional maturity and dogged determination that earned her a principal role alongside industry heavyweights, Salwa Khattab, Ghada Adel, Ahmed Dawood and Karim Kassem in Mamlaket Eblees; a role that is certain to further push her profile even higher within the ranks of the industry.

Yet despite her unprecedented rise, Asmaa’s most admirable quality remains her remarkable humility which becomes evident when we ask her of what she feels is the secret behind her success. “I credit my success to anyone who lent me a positive word, a valuable piece of advice, encouraged me, and believed in me. This has always been and will always remain my answer.”

Photography by Baher Khairy

Smart, beautiful, talented and incredibly down-to-earth, Asmaa Galal’s star is certain to shine for years to come.

From Harper's Bazaar Arabia's October 2019 Issue

Styling by Yasmine Kenawi

Photography by Baher Khairy

Hair Stylists: Islam Zaki & Alia Abdoun
Make-up: Noha Ezzeldin
Creative Direction: Nour Hassan
Additional Research: Nour Hassan