"It’s not good enough now a day to get comfortable, because as soon as you become comfortable you start to become irrelevant."
My Name is Alia ‘Coucla’ Refaat and I am a woman on a mission. I haven’t been to Antarctica or lived with the tribes in Papua New Guinea yet , but surely I am fortunate enough to be able to travel too many far away places from home ( my beloved Cairo/Egypt) and get amazing experiences, see incredible rituals and meet amazing people along the way taking pictures. Whether commissioned or sponsored, I am grateful to be able to show artistic material through my professional work at exhibitions & publish books.
Set aside from living in a travel bag, I have met really cool people who are called celebrities, which I was able to develop amazing photography concepts for my commercial & advertising work.
One day in 2010 I was named the“Ambassador of Arts in Egypt” the title for my artistic and documentary photography project exhibited at the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo revolving around the Cremation rituals in Bali. Followed by my first photography book in August 2012 ” Dance of Life” a young woman’s Journey through Thailand, representing the Royal Kingdom of Thailand in Egypt & in the Middle East. Commissioned by the Royal Thai Embassy in Cairo.
… and that’s why I love my job as a Commercial , Travel & Documentary Photographer.
“ I want the audience to have a connection with my images & be inspired, I want them to live what I experienced through my travel photographs –to see how people live, and to learn about their beliefs , culture and art – Make a connection & understand the story of every portrait and not just see them as unidentified component of an isolated ethnic or tribal group”
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More Detailed Bio below ;
News & Exhibitions:
2018: Speaker at Cairo Photoweek [ Nov.18] - Be a travel story teller -
2018: Photography & Art direction for azza fahmy jewelry campaign in Nubia
2018: Exhibitor and speaker at the world youth forum in sharm el sheikh
2018: Identity magazine - October cover girl [ Women of Wonder ]
2018: Farida Osman Campaign for Arena USA
2018: Documentary coverage for #Worldcup 2018 - #fifafanfest - oppo & Lipton
2018: production - Photo & video for mahmya island
2018: Interview for women middle east march 2018
2018: photography & Art direction for Panadol gsk campaign featuring captain Essam el Hadary
2018: photography and Art direction #PALMHILSSLIVE for Palm hills campaign
2017: photography and marketing campaign strategy and logistics for FLO egypt water.#Coucla_Flos_toperu social campaign.
2017: Photography, production and art direction for BUpa egypt insurance campaign.
2017: photography and art direction for emaar real estate " the greek village campaign"
2017: huawei p10 & p10 plus brand ambassador campaign - ramadan/ Egypt
2017: photography and art direction for "khalsana b sheyaka" celebrity ramadan campaign
2017: Shooting for orascom development "G* Natives" Campaign.
2016 : Leading & teaching my first photography expedition to Bali – Pulau Dewata #CRphotoexpedition
2016: Official Photographer for Al Nahar Tv Billboards for “Maysa7esh Keda” Program
2015: Launching #ThisisEgypt campaign held by The Ministry of Tourism. Press conference at the Ritz Carlton hosted by the Minister of Culture Dr.Hisham Zaazou.
2015: The face & photographer for “The Trippers” marketing campaign for Trippin Adventures, Zanzibar 2015
2014: Official photographer for “Shababna” Show by Big Productions/ Abudhabi Tv.
2014: Official photographer & content creative advertising director for “EL Bernameg “Show by Dr. Bassem Youssef since 2011.
2014: Organizing & judging the 7th photography competition arranged by the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt.
2013: Guest speaker at the American University in Cairo.
2013: “DANCE OF LIFE” an Egyptians woman’s journey through Thailand my first book published to focus on the cultural and societal perspective from my artistic photographic experience. Commissioned by the Royal Kingdom of Thailand and Embassy of Thailand in Cairo to document Thailand’s rich culture, rituals, religions and arts.
2013: “Dance of Life” Photography book launch and exhibition at the Palace of Arts at the Cairo Opera house, Inaugurated by H.E Minister of Culture DR. Mohammed Saber Arab and H.E Mr. Chalit Mantiyakul Ambassador of Thailand in Cairo.
2012: Winning the Photo of the month by the Photo burst online photo competition with “The Blue Nazarenos” photo.
2012: Guest Speaker at the British university in Cairo.
2012: Photography assignment by the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo to document Jakarta – Bandung & Bali.
2011: Judging & organizing a photography competition held by the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo to celebrate the 66th anniversary for its independence day.
2011: First short movie for London film school, Documenting Easter festivals around Europe (20 countries in 60 days)
2011: “Zooming on Asia” Solo exhibition at the Gezira Art Gallery, Inaugurated by H.E Head of Arts sector Dr. Salah el Meligy.
2010: “Ambassador of Arts “ Title given by The Egyptian Gazzette and the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo for the Creamation Series in Bali / Pulau Dewata Exhibition.
2010: “Pulau Dewata” Solo exhibition at the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo, representing culture, religious and cremations rituals through the Arts of Photography. Inaugurated by H.E First Secretary of Ministry of Culture Mr. Hossam Nassar and H.E Ambassador of Indonesia Mr. Fachir.
2010: Summiting the highest peek in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro as the official photographer for The Right to Climb charity initiative by Right to Live association in Egypt to support and create awareness for the Mentally challenged in Egypt.
2009: “The Arts of the Kathakali “ Solo exhibition at the Cairo Opera House inaugurated by H.E Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny & H.E Ambassador of India in Egypt Mr. R. Swaminathan.
2007-2008: El Sawy Culture Wheel Award in motion & landscape Photography.
2006-2010: Photographer at “EL Beat” Magazine – Al Ahram org.