Yasmine Shihata, an Egyptian and UK national, was born in Kuwait and went to international schools in Vienna, Austria and Washington D.C. She attended university in London, where she graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a degree in International Relations. Having had a passion for fashion, art and magazines from a young age, Yasmine interned at Vogue and Marie Claire magazine in London during and after her studies. Yasmine’s professional career began in New York City, where she joined Vogue magazine as senior assistant to the Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour. This demanding position exposed her to the corporate magazine world and the intricacies of magazine production and public relations. Upon her return to Cairo, Yasmine founded Egypt’s first English language lifestyle publication: Cleo magazine. Cleo magazine was a hit from its inception, as it tapped into a virgin market and met the needs and aspirations of Egypt’s emerging sophisticated and modern culture. Yasmine’s success in her first venture cemented her status as a preeminent pioneer in Egypt’s English language lifestyle magazine market. A year and a half later, Yasmine sold her shares in Cleo and in 2001, she partnered with three of Egypt’s most prominent businessmen to launch Enigma magazine: the Arab region’s glossy lifestyle magazine for sophisticated Arab men and women with an international outlook. Enigma quickly became the region’s leading English lifestyle magazine and expanded its distribution throughout the Middle East. eniGma was also the first magazine in the Middle East to be available in print and online, with its continuously updated dynamic online platform that includes video clips of Enigma cover and fashion shoots, interviews, and photos from social events, as well as a comprehensive archive of past magazine features. With a market presence spanning 18 years, eniGma has become the leading pan-Arab lifestyle English language magazine, featuring the region’s most dynamic celebrities, entrepreneurs, fashion and interior designers, and trendy destinations. The magazine is distributed in Egypt, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, and London. In 2002, Yasmine launched Enigma’s PR and events division to bring the glamorous world of eniGma magazine to life in cities across the globe – and to date it is the only Arab lifestyle media company to do so. The eniGma PR division has hosted exclusive events in Cairo, London, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles. The events included a 2000 person celebration at the foot of the Pyramids of Giza on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of Enigma magazine with a performance by Bryan Adams, followed by an even larger celebration of the magazine’s 10th anniversary, also at the Pyramids, with a performance by Kylie Minogue. Along with many other smaller events – with high profile guests such as Sir Richard Branson and former US president Jimmy
Carter – in the international cities mentioned above. Today Enigma hosts an annual Celebration of Arab Glamour & Success in both Beverly Hills ( July) and London (October), to highlight the best of the Middle East and to bring an exclusive selection of VIP from the Middle East and around the world together. The events are always star studded and also feature the presentation of Enigma Achievement Awards, to honour leading Arab personalities and entrepreneurs who have had an international impact throughout their careers. Past awardees have included Naguib Sawiris, Zein Obagi, Mohamed Hadid and many more. These successful events have helped promote a greater appreciation of Arab success and culture around the world and have contributed to bringing the East and West closer together. Furthermore Enigma organized the Bulgari 2018 Cairo International Film Festival’s closing party, a glamorous evening, hosting the biggest names in the Arabic entertainment industry. In 2006, Yasmine set up another division, eniGma TV, which films exclusive celebrity interviews, cover shoots, PR events, and the latest fashion trends, for eniGma readers online. Enigma TV videos can be viewed on Enigma’s own dedicated YouTube channel. And in in 2013, she launched an Arabic language sister magazine, eniGma Star, a pan-Arab magazine, along the lines of its beyond successful flagship eniGma magazine, dedicated to celebrity and fashion news and features. After eighteen years in the industry, despite the political challenges in the region, the Enigma brand has continued to grow and succeed due to Yasmine’s dedicated efforts and genuine love for her work. Her extensive experience has provided her with an invaluable understanding of exclusive content and media production, public relations and business development. She is one of the few Arab women in the Middle East who has created her own international business, a strong brand name and has become a pioneer in the Middle East’s lifestyle and entertainment media and PR industry.