The lovely Bassma Boussel, who first rose to fame as a contestant in the hit show Star Academy in the early 2000s has made further headlines a few years later with her marriage to superstar Tamer Hosny. Also a fashion icon and a businesswoman in her own right, Boussel already has a cosmetics line in her name and aspires to achieve much more in the field of fashion. eniGma had a fun chat with the beautiful Boussel about her journey with Star Academy, her love life with her husband, superstar and our past cover star Tamer Hosny, motherhood and finally her surprise announcement about her return to the fashion industry!
Born and raised in Morocco, Bassma Boussel originally enrolled in medical school with a scholarship at Amiens, France, but she interrupted her studies after just two months. “When I was accepted for Star Academy, two months into my studies, I decided to take a break from university for a year,” says Boussel who thought she would go back to medical school later. “But after returning to Morocco after Star Academy, I felt like I wanted to change my major because I really didn’t like studying in France. It’s not like being in another Arab country, where you don’t feel like you are far away from your culture. France was a bit hard for me and I wasn’t happy. So I told my late father and we agreed that I would change my major to business management and stay in Morocco. I had always been French-educated and suddenly I was studying in English at a British university in Morocco – but I was happy!”
After two years studying in Morocco, Boussel travelled to Egypt and continued her last year of university online. “The second I set foot in Egypt, I never looked back,” Boussel giggles, adding, “Egypt is a country that makes anyone who visits it, fall in love with it. I love Egypt. Egyptians are the kindest and most giving people. I realized why Moroccans love Egyptians! Of course, every country has good and bad people but I’m talking about the majority; the majority of Egyptians are so kind. Also, people here know how to enjoy their life even with the smallest things.” Boussel continues by expressing how Egyptian she is and with her dialect while speaking to us, we can assure you that she is as Egyptian as one can be! “My kids are always telling me we are so proud to be both Egyptian and Moroccan,” as both are beautiful countries full of rich cultures and history.
Looking back at her experience with Star Academy, a turning point in her life, Boussel recounts how she took the decision to audition for the show all on her own. “My family didn’t know that I auditioned for Star Academy! The auditions were just two days before I travelled to France for my studies. There were thousands of people at the location when I arrived but I still had a feeling that I was going to be accepted. After the audition, I travelled to France for university, since it was the one thing I was sure of at the time,” Boussel recalls. “Actually I never really wanted to enter medicine. I wanted to be an engineer but I failed and to my surprise, I was accepted to medical school! I took that exam, never thinking that I would be accepted – it wasn’t a goal of mine,” she adds.
“Star Academy was one of the best things that happened to me – it made me a strong and independent person. I had to overcome the pressure of being without my family and friends and as contestants, we had no money and no phones with us. And we were allowed to bring very few clothes. You only have yourself and your character!” The pressure of having millions of viewers tuning in to watch Boussel and the other contestants 24 hours a day, no doubt caused her stress but was a learning experience. “Before that, I had never been capable of saying ‘no’ to anyone. Being on the show helped me shape my personality and become a stronger person. For example, I was studying medicine just because I was accepted and it made my mother happy. But as soon as I got back from Star Academy, I was able to put my foot down and say ‘no, that’s not what I want.’” she recounts. “My outlook on life definitely helped me get through the show! I always try to focus on the positive side and the advantages of things. I don’t like focusing on the negative parts,” she adds.
As Boussel continues to talk about Star Academy, she reminisces on how much has happened since. “It was a really weird feeling to meet my teacher on the show, Michel, who played the piano as I sang on Star Academy, recently. I met him at his new place O by Michel Fadel after about 12 years since the show, actually for the eniGma photo shoot. He told me ‘I can’t believe how you’ve grown up and that I’m seeing you at this point in your life.’”
While Star Academy was a life changer for Boussel, little did she know then that she was going to go through another milestone that would change the course of her life even more. Looking back, she recalls, “My life flipped around the day I met Tamer! When I wanted to sing, Tamer was my idol and I was a crazy fan. I met him when I first came to Cairo and he supported me in the arts. We became friends and he was like a big brother to me. He made me sign with Mohsen Gaber and was responsible for my album. I always wanted to learn from him. After over a year of friendship, Tamer suddenly proposed to me and I thought he was joking. After that, I began to pay attention and I felt like he actually knew what he wanted from the beginning. We were engaged for about six months before getting married. Being around Tamer made me mature and grow. I always had this feeling of love towards him. He’s extremely respectful and this makes any woman easily fall for a man.”
Naturally, being married to one of the biggest stars in the Arab world placed a lot of pressure on Boussel, personally. She explains, “Being married to a celebrity is difficult and not everyone can tolerate it. You have to have a strong personality and your partner also has to help you. There are times when you lose patience because it is so stressful. You never know what will happen tomorrow. I always try to be the perfect person. Even with my kids, I always hope to be the perfect mom.”
Being the mother of three is already a tough job for anyone, let alone when you are married to a celebrity. “I want to be able to protect my children but at the same time, I don’t want to be the type of mother whose children do things behind her back. Reaching a middle ground is challenging. Having a strong relationship with your children is crucial but it’s what’s outside of your home that is scary,” says Boussel, adding, “I teach my children that it’s important to be proud of your parents but what matters is who YOU are and what you achieve for yourself and your country, not whose daughter you are. Just like you do good things for yourself, it’s important to also do good things for others. One of my upcoming projects includes helping others and I’m definitely including my children in it because this is how I want them to be raised.”
Boussel is obviously a hands-on mother, who likes to have discipline in her home. “I have a system at home, even for eating; there are things we eat and things that we don’t. It’s also important for me to take care of myself and to work out. The same goes for my children. I like having a schedule for everyone and everything, especially with my children’s extracurricular activities. When I travel, my mom stays with my children. Someone I trust has to be with them! And I check up on them to make sure they arrive where they need to be and I also check up on them throughout the day,” says Boussel.
Despite being fully involved in her children’s lives and despite her busy life with Tamer, Boussel doesn’t slack when it comes to her career. “I learnt from my studies in business management how to juggle multiple things at the same time. My studies also taught me how important teamwork is – even with family!” she exclaims.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business management, Boussel studied fashion at the Italian Fashion Academy, in Cairo. “After two years of marriage and having children, I was bored. I used to do simple stuff with Tamer, like styling and some song covers; but that didn’t really keep me busy. I felt like I was missing something. I felt like I wanted to study!” explains Boussel on deciding to study fashion in Egypt.
Boussel, who had earlier launched Bassma Boussel Cosmetics and Bassma Boussel Designs, hints at an upcoming project in the fashion field she would soon be launching, “I recently returned to fashion and am now working on a project on a bigger scale.” After some coaxing, Boussel opens up and excitedly spills the scoop about the planned relaunch of her fashion brand, Bassma Boussel Designs, but on a bigger scale and soon! She also reveals that Bassma Boussel Cosmetics products, including its hit pure Moroccan argan oil, will soon be available in Egypt. “My new headquarters will be in Park St. in Sheikh Zayed and I’m so excited! Everything about my new venture is totally BASSMA!” says Boussel, who chose every single thing concerning her business.
When asked if, looking back, she regrets anything or wishes she could change anything, Boussel mentions the clash she had with Tamer months ago and how she took to social media to address them, “I regret posting that on my story on social media because it’s wrong to expose your private life to people. It could be something small and people could take it more seriously and it can get blown out of proportion. Other than this, I don’t regret anything. Actually I feel like everything in life happens for a reason even if it’s something negative.”
With everything going on in Boussel’s life you would think that during her free time she would want to just lay back and relax at home – on the contrary! “Every weekend I have to take my kids and do something, sometimes I’ll even take them to street carts and eat there.” But when it comes to friendships, she has her squad behind the scenes. “I have friends within the entertainment industry and I see them all the time at events but my main group of friends are ones outside of the scene. Usually people think im shy and an introvert but the people closest to me know that’s not true at all!”
Boussel expresses her hope to become very successful in her business within the next five years and she hopes she will have a positive impact on society. She feels lucky that her husband is very supportive and this makes her feel optimistic. “Tamer always encourages me! He takes care of me as if I’m his daughter and I’m always fighting to prove that I’m old enough,” Boussel concludes, with a laugh.
Photography: Khaled Fadda
Styling: Maissa Azab & Sahar Azab
Location: O by Michelle Fadel
Makeup by Dina Ragheb
Hair by Yousef El Ashkar
Fashion Assistants: Mohamed Taha & Aliaa Oraby
Maison 69: 15 Ismail Mohammed, Abu Al Feda, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 27372344
Giuseppe di Morabito: www.giuseppedimorabito.com
Villa Babouska: Mahmoud Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 27350654
Dina Mourad: 13 Abd Al Azim El Gholami,
Abbas El-Akkad, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt
Twinset: Almaza City Centre, Sheraton, Cairo, Egypt
Raisa & Vanessa: www.raisavanessa.com
Lush Boutique: 10 Ali Ibn Radwan, Al Golf, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20) 1223334313
EGO: 13 Assuit, Almaza, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20) 1229933032