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| by The Fustany Team

Get to Know the 15 Arab Contestants of "Project Runway Middle East"

We’re only few days away from the beginning of the most anticipated Arab fashion TV show “Project Runway Middle East” that will air on MBC network beginning Saturday the 17th of September, which will be hosted by Jessica Kahawaty.

We can’t wait for the show to start for two main reasons, firstly because we can’t wait to see the legendary Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab as part of the jury alongside the Tunisian fashion and style icon Afef Jifen. And secondly, because “Project Runway Middle East” will be a real opportunity for young Arab fashion talents to flourish, learn and get exposure for their work.

The 15 Arab contestants all have a background in the fashion industry; some of them are even known in their home countries. So what’s their ultimate challenge now? Just to impress the iconic jury with their designs and win the “Project Runway Middle East” title.

So here’s the full list of the 15 Arab contestants at “Project Runway Middle East”:

1. Amna El-Shandaweely – Egypt

Amna El-Shandaweely from Alexandria, Egypt is another contestant from “Project Runway Middle East.” She studied fashion design at the Italian Design Academy in Egypt. She started by making clothes for her close friends. Her designs are influenced by bohemian and African authentic designs.

2. Maroun Issa – Lebanon

Maroon Issa is the eldest contestants at “Project Runway Middle East” season 1, and he owns his own atelier in Lebanon. Maroon began his fashion career a little bit later in his life, but that didn’t stop him from participating in the show.

3. Ilham Aitsil – Morocco

Ilham Aitsil from Morocco worked as an event planner, to be able to fund and manage her first fashion collection. Talk about determination to achieve your dream.

4. Alia El-Nahass – Egypt

Alia El-Nahass' background is far from fashion design; she studied mass communications and worked in the human resources field before she launched her own brand “Alia Couture.”


5. Alaa Najd – Lebanon

Alaa Najd's career move was drastic, he moved from marketing to a Lebanese fashion designer assistant to pursue a fashion career. 


6.  Rayan Atlas – Algeria

Rayan Atlas from Algeria moved to Tunisia to study fashion design, and in 2006 he launched his own brand and by 2011 he held his first fashion show. His designs can be described as edgy and made for the daring and confident woman.  

7. Mohanad Kojak – Egypt

Mohanad Kojak, the youngest contestant at “Project Runway Middle East” season 1, is an Egyptian designer who already launched his own brand in his home country. His designs are quite bold, and the way he presents his work is unique and fearless.


8. Issa Hesso – Syria

Issa Hesso from Syria is already setting himself apart from the other contestants at “Project Runway Middle East” by stating that he has exceptional sewing skills, which is actually a plus for any fashion designer.


9. Taghreed Al-Arrayed - Bahrain

Talk about the power of self learned skills...Taghreed Al-Arrayed from Bahrain taught herself how to design and she wouldn’t be part of the show if she didn’t have it in her.

10. Lucy Fadel – Jordan

Another self learned contestant at “Project Runway Middle East” is Lucy Fadel from Jordan, can you believe it? She learned from online videos and tutorials.

11. Selim Chebil – Tunisia

Selim Chebil the Tunisian contestant from “Project Runway Middle East” just graduated from fashion school in Tunisia. Selim is already experienced in styling clothes, as he worked as a stylist and currently pursuing a career in fashion design.























12. Fatima Al Najdi – Kuwait

Fatima Al Najdi from Kuwait is a designer we guess many Arab women want more of; she’s specialized in hijab fashion design.

13. Heba Mojaddidi – KSA

Heba Mojaddidi, the Saudi Arabian contestant from “Project Runway Middle East” was probably born talented; she said she designed her first dress when she was nine to attend her brother’s wedding.






































14. Luma Saleh – Lebanon

Luma Saleh is originally Lebanese but was born in Brazil. She came back to Lebanon to study fashion and to pursue a fashion career. Luma’s resume is interesting, she has previous experiences at New York fashion week.


15. Saba Tark – Iraq

Saba Tark is originally from Iraq but she lived in the Netherlands, where she learned about fashion design and participated in European fashion events.





Tags: Fashion  Fashion 2016  Fashion news  Elie saab  Elie saab dresses  Elie saab fashion  Project runway  Project runway middle east  Kojak  Fashion shows