Who am I?
I hate talking about myself. It makes me feel good. I’m not comfortable with feeling good.
Well, I'm Hazem. An entrepreneur*, father and overall, nice guy, once you get to know me. Nice of you to join.
I was born in Egypt in 1988, then quickly moved to Canada with my family where I grew up and lived for 7 years. I studied Architectural Engineering and Technology in Cairo University and worked as an architect for a couple of years before I decided it wasn't enough. In 2013, I co-founded Stabraq Trendsetters. A community-based clothing brand meant to inspire and empower Muslim-changemakers. We now have two stores and counting.
In 2015, I started on YouTube, making vlogs about my life and journey to build my company and to express my thoughts. My goal was to showcase the life of a Muslim entrepreneur, trying to be successful, yet not compromising on his religion. That's what I try to do, at least. I vlogged everyday for 4 months straight, and was considered the first vlogger in Egypt. It was a sleepless, but exhilarating time.
In 2019, I started HazCast. A personal podcast where I interview Muslim changemakers, entrepreneurs and creatives from around the world and provide a platform for the uncelebrated. It quickly rose to the top of the podcast charts and helped pave the way for podcasting to become mainstream in the region. It's one of the more successful projects I've done. In 2021, along with Ahmed Amer and Sherif Ali, we started another podcast called وعي, which is the Arabic word for awareness. It's a causal setting where my friends and I talk about religion, life and society. Our YouTube channel hit 100K subscribers in just a few months, and elhamdulellah (thank God), the show has over 400K monthly listeners. It's the thing I'm most proud of, to date.
Throughout this journey, the thing I loved to do most was making videos. Shooting, directing, editing and telling stories. That started in the form of making commercials for Stabraq, to vlogging on YouTube, to making short films and documentaries. I created a storytelling crashcourse where I share my personal experience and journey with aspiring filmmakers, in the hope of inpiring a generation of responsible and clean cinema. Filmmaking is the thing I'm passionate about, at this point in time and I'm exploring where that will take me. So, to quote Taika Waititi: "My job is creativity. My job is to express myself and to share my ideas and my point of view. It happens to be that I'm using filmmaking right now."
So, that's most of what I've done so far. Thanks for reading this far. You get a 🌹
*Entrepreneur: Someone who doesn't quite know what his job is, and in most cases, does nothing.