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Stories of Egyptian Women In the Name of Humanity: Heba El Sewedy

Heba El Sewedy: "Philantropy is my work!"

In a series of stories, ELLE pays tribute to a group of formidable Egyptian women who are giving their time and resources to help those affected by the Gaza conflict, one of the worst humanitarian crises modern times have seen.


At the foundation of every community are the people who give before they ask for anything back. One of Egypt’s most esteemed philanthropists is Heba El Sewedy. A woman who has been standing at the forefront dedicating her life to helping those in need through Ahl Masr Foundation and Ahl Masr Hospital, both specialize in treating, preventing, and researching trauma and burn injuries.

Established in 2013 and 2016 respectively, the foundation and the hospital are the first and biggest non-profit organizations of their kind in the Middle East and Africa.

As a member of one of Egypt’s most prominent families, El Sewedy has dedicated her life to the Egyptian people, saving thousands. She is often referred to as the “Mother Teresa” of Egypt and “Mama Heba,” and rightfully so.

Having extended her foundation’s slogan Bardan Wa Salaman Ala Ahl Masr (May peace and blessings be upon the people of Egypt) to Gaza, we spoke to El Sewedy about Ahl Masr Foundation’s contributions to helping the people of Palestine in these trying times.

“Over the past 5 months, the people of Gaza have been facing a massive humanitarian crisis which required a quick response from all over the world.” El Sewedy told ELLE, “Our main focus at Ahl Masr Foundation has been exploring how we can support them in every possible way with all our available resources within the government’s directives to provide urgent support and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.”


Together with the National Alliance for Civilian and Development Action and other key supporters of the Palestinian cause, Ahl Masr Foundation successfully sent out 13 convoys of humanitarian aid trucks loaded with medical and basic living supplies, ointments, compassionate drugs, food, baby supplies, women supplies, winter clothes, blankets, and special medications for burn victims.

During the convoys’ preparations, the foundation launched the ‘Ceasefire Initiative’ with the support of volunteers from the foundation and hospital. It also executed a collaboration with the Egyptian telecommunications companies Orange and Telecom Egypt to execute a telemedicine service, which is an emergency medical line powered by Ahl Masr Hospital’s doctors to support the Palestinian medical staff with consultation to rescue and treat the Palestinian burn victims.

Furthermore, the foundation held a partnership with Bazarna Society, an Egyptian pop-up event organizer, by which they donated part of their event’s revenues to support Gaza in line with Ahl Masr Foundation’s humanitarian initiatives.


When asked how she ties philanthropy into her work, El Sewedy replied “Philanthropy is my work!” She elaborated, “I inherited the love of charity from my father from the very beginning. Being brought up by such a great man, I took it forward to compassionately care and support the people in need since 2011 considering the alarming humanitarian situation (at the time). From that point, I understood the importance of charity work and started chasing my dream of ‘Humanity Burn Free.’”

Stay tuned to meet more of these exceptional women.

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