Forbes 30 Under 30 List for the Middle East is out and we are proud to see the Okhtein brand sisters, the highly creative siblings, Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf on the list, as well as Lebanon-based jewelry designer Ralph Masri. Forbes 30 Under 30 is THE source of all sources for youth empowerment and recognition of creative forces. It is an annual encyclopedia of highly creative youthful voices spanning over 20 different industries. Screening thousands of nominations; decisions are made by a panel of judges, with the aid of ace reporters and the “collective wisdom of their online community”.
The Middle East boasts a sizeable young population and Forbes’ list featured leading innovators who have either created a “niche concept” that gained global recognition, or closed a certain market gap with their innovations. For the Middle East’s list, the nominees come from 14 sectors covering 15 countries.
“This list continues to spotlight the impressive, the inspiring and the genuinely enviable” According to Forbes.
The Egyptian design duo, the Abdelraouf sisters launched their brand to “bring luxury back to their home country” in addition to drawing attention to the fine art of Egyptian artisanship. In their case, they have closed a gap in a market thirsting for luxe Egyptian accessories. Born in Cairo, Aya and Mounaz are both graduates of the American University of Cairo. Their brand boasts innovative, cutting-edge designs that are locally manufactured. All their products have deeply-rooted cultural connotations, as well as being associated with many local NGOs that provide assistance to female workers who face financial hardships.
Ralph Masri, born in Beirut and a graduate of Central Saint Martins, has lived between Lebanon, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. He won the Swarovski Award during his first year at university and this gave him the needed push and exposure. His first showroom was opened in 2014 in Beirut and in 2016 he was named an honorary Fine Jewelry Winner at the DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize. Ralph’s collections combine the finesse of fine jewelry albeit creating statement pieces that are ultra-fashionable and with an unrivalled attention to craftsmanship and detail.
Forbes 30 Under 30 not only works on authenticating the creativity and ingenious of the winners, it also works as a platform that creates healthy competition amongst the creative youth in most industries; helping youths in the Middle East and the world over become powerful engines of productivity and innovation.