Cultural manager Heba ElCheikh studied French, translation and journalism, and in 2012 she completed her Masters degree in Art Management, with a focus on community arts and evaluation at Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands. In 2011, she co-founded Mahatat for contemporary art. She believes in democratization of the arts, and as such has worked to decentralize and make them available to everyone through art in public spaces and community art projects. Her professional experience ranges from management training and facilitating, interpreting and journalism (radio and print media), to website editing. In 2009, she co-founded The “Journey Cultural Group” in Alexandria, aiming to promote youth creativity and critical thinking through culture and the arts. Having travelled to Morocco, France, Spain, Kenya, Italy, England, Belgium, Germany, Syria, Indonesia, Thailand and the USA, Heba ElCheikh has published fieldwork-based articles in French and Arabic weeklies and magazines, and covers art and travel, local community life style, culture and legacy.
Astrid Thews is experienced in qualitative research, conceptualization and fundraising, and is particularly passionate about facilitation and training. She firmly believes in sharing, participation and inclusion, which she expresses by adopting participatory and visual approaches and tools in workshops, meetings and change processes she (co-)facilitates.
Born in 1985 in Germany, Astrid Thews is a cultural anthropologist who studied development sociology, and social and cultural anthropology in Germany, Sweden and France. She conducted short ethnographic fieldwork in Senegal and Egypt within the framework of her bachelors and masters degrees between 2005 and 2011.
In 2011, Astrid Thews co-founded Mahatat for contemporary art and co-conceived and managed Mahatat’s launching project Shaware3na in 2012. She further conducted both the qualitative needs assessment and the impact evaluation of Mahatat’s project Face to Face in 2013. Since 2014, she has been focusing on strategic planning, business development and fundraising for Mahatat.