Mariam El Khosht

A Love Letter to Career & Romance

Mariam El Khosht’s effortless acting and stunning beauty made her a fan favourite early in her acting career. She began performing at the tender age of 10, dubbing and singing for Disney Arabia. Years later, El Khosht now an adult, embarked on an acting career and was soon earning critical acclaim for her performances in a number of groundbreaking TV series. Today, the talented young star is gracing eniGma’s cover for the second time. We are pleased to have her on the cover of our wedding issue, since she recently announced her engagement and now is officially a bride to be! After a long day posing in some of the season’s trendiest wedding looks for our cover shoot, El Khosht sat down with eniGma’s Farida Elserty for a heartfelt chat on love and life. El Khosht opened up about her journey to success, the roles that have shaped her, and the lessons she’s learned.

As I made my way through the halls of the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza to meet Mariam El Khosht for the cover shoot and interview, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be kept waiting long for her arrival as had happened with some stars I had interviewed before. To my surprise, there she was, waiting in the lobby, ready to go. El Khosht’s grace, charm and professionalism shone through from the moment we met, leaving me impressed by her down-to-earth demeanor and magnetic presence.

Dress by Anas Kadamani (ANSKADA), Shoes by Lily’s Bridal, and Jewellery by El Baz Jewelry

As we waited for the rest of the team to gather for the photo shoot, we began our conversation and in no time, we had covered everything from fashion and hair to social media and cats. The atmosphere was casual and El Khosht’s presence filled the room. Her engaging allure was palpable as she effortlessly moved about the hotel room, putting the crew at ease with coy jokes and her graceful personality. It was clear that, along with her stunning beauty and impressive talent, comes a genuine, down-to-earth soul that connects deeply with everyone she meets.

Two hours of glamming up for the cover shoot passed and El Khosht finally stepped in front of the camera, looking stunning. Despite the grueling six-hour long shoot, she seemed to enjoy every moment. Smiling and joking with the team throughout, her charm and sensitivity radiated a magnetic charisma that enveloped the room.

Once we were ready to start the actual interview, El Khosht stopped me and exclaimed with her a beaming smile, “First, I must tell you that eniGma magazine holds a special place in my heart! My first-ever cover shoot was with eniGma, and I’ve loved and trusted you ever since.”

I thought that was a great start, of course, and couldn’t wait to start asking my questions. First on the agenda was how she got to pursue a career in the creative field at a young age. El Khosht grew up in a family full of artists, so this came naturally for her. With a father who has his own cooking show on TV and a mother who is a prolific writer for popular children’s programs as well as a translator for Disney in Arabic, creativity was clearly embedded in her genes. She started doing voiceover and dubbing for some of the most iconic children’s animations and foreign language TV shows in the region at the tender age of 10. As she grew older, her creative spirit grew as well. Her passions extended beyond voice acting. She wanted to sing, and, above all, she wanted to act. El Khosht honed her acting skills during her college years and beyond, eventually establishing herself as a rising star in the industry.

Dress by Anas Kadamani (ANSKADA), Jewellery by Gold Era, and Headpiece by M.S. Headpieces

El Khosht recounts how hesitant she was initially to pursue acting, due to a deep-seated fear she had of failure. “I was afraid that I wasn’t talented enough or that people would hate my acting,” she explained. “When I’m afraid of failing at something, I tend to avoid it altogether, even if it’s something I want to do.”

It took a leap of faith for El Khosht to eventually overcome her fear and pursue her dreams. Now her talent and determination have made her one of the most promising actresses of her generation.

She made her dazzling acting debut in Ramadan of 2017, as Shahira in the highly acclaimed TV adaptation of Ehsan Abdel Qudous’ La Totfe’ El Shams (Don’t Turn Off the Sun). The role marked a turning point for El Khosht and gave her a newfound confidence in her talent and abilities. “I owe Shahira a lot. She holds a special place in my heart because I was very insecure before playing her,” she admits.

Following her successful TV debut, which was in the coveted Ramadan season, El Khosht continued to captivate audiences in successive Ramadan TV series. Her impressive repertoire includes Layaly Eugenie (Eugenie Nights), Kalabsh 2 (Handcuff 2), Zay El Shams (As Clear as the Sun), El Anesa Farah (Miss Farah), the Arabic version of Jane The Virgin, Lea’bet El Nesyan (The Forgetfulness Game), and Leh Laa’ (Why Not?). With each new role, she showed how versatile and gifted she was.

Recently, El Khosht got to reveal her musical talent as well, as the star of Magnona Beek! (Crazy about You!), the first musical drama of its kind in the Arab world. It was the Arabic version of the popular foreign musical series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the audiences loved El Khosht’s performance. She also delivered a standout performance last Ramadan on TV in the series, Omla Nadra (Rare Coin), alongside the iconic Nelly Karim.

Dress by Anas Kadamani (ANSKADA), Shoes by Lily’s Bridal, and Jewellery by Gold Era

Noting that she selects her roles with much thought and consideration, El Khosht says that her performance in Omla Nadra is her favourite to date. “For me, it’s important to ask myself what the role will add to my personal work or emotional experience, before accepting it,” she explains. Her ability to empathise with others also helps her bring their stories to life on screen and is a testament to her passion and love for acting. “What I love most about acting is the superpower it gives me to transform into other people, like Mystique in the X-Men movies,” she explains. “Acting helps me to understand and relate to people’s emotions and their complicated feelings,” she adds.

El Khosht’s gift at singing further set her apart as a leading actress, as evidenced by her standout performance in Magnona Beek! in 2022. “Singing makes me feel like I’m galloping on a horse and flying,” she exclaims. “I have always aspired to be a multi-talented performer who can excel in musicals and all forms of art,” she adds.

El Khosht has a unique approach to preparing for a role. Unlike method actors many of whom completely immerse themselves in their characters by isolating themselves and staying in character throughout filming, El Khosht finds that being over-rehearsed can hinder her performance. Instead, she relies on her instincts and the energy of her fellow actors to bring her characters to life. She reads the script thoroughly when she receives it, but she doesn’t overanalyse it or rehearse it extensively.

Dress by Anas Kadamani (ANSKADA), Jewellery by Gold Era, Shoes by Lily’s Bridal Shoes, and Headpiece by M.S. Headpieces

“I read my scenes again the night before I shoot and right before I walk on set,” she says. However, when she encounters characters that she can’t fully relate to, she draws inspiration from real-life people she knows and combines their traits with those of the character. This technique was imparted to her by her colleague Mohamed Mamdouh, and it has proven to be a valuable tool in her acting arsenal.

El Khosht emphasises that the thrill of becoming someone new every day and the immediate feedback from audiences are what make the job so enjoyable for her. “It’s incredibly satisfying to pour your heart into a character and witness how it resonates with others,” she explains, adding, “To see how your work has touched them and how they felt is truly rewarding.”

When it comes to criticism, El Khosht believes in striking a balance between accepting feedback and protecting her mental well-being. “There’s a fine line between criticism and bullying,” she explains. “Constructive criticism is valuable because it helps us improve, but when it crosses into bullying territory, I choose to ignore it. I know that person is just spreading their negativity everywhere, and it’s not about me.”

Before we conclude, the conversation naturally turns to her love life and her recent engagement to Ahmed Abaza, who is not part of the movie industry. El Khosht, is a firm believer that a successful relationship hinges on open and constant communication. “There is no room for misunderstandings or gaps in successful relationships,” she asserts. “It can take time for some people to feel comfortable communicating their feelings, but it’s essential to find a way to help your partner feel safe doing so without turning it into a fight.”

In addition to communication, she emphasises that both partners need to be fully invested in the relationship. “It’s not healthy if one person is trying harder than the other,” she explains. “Both individuals need to be in the same place and support each other equally.”

Asked how she manages to balance her personal life with the demands of her acting career, she acknowledges the challenge. “It can be quite difficult at times,” she admits, “but I’m lucky to have a strong support system in my family, who are always there for me. Acting can be a physically and mentally exhausting job, so having people to lean on is crucial for maintaining a sense of balance.”

Dress by Anas Kadamani (ANSKADA), Shoes by Lily’s Bridal, and Jewellery by El Baz Jewelry

Returning to the subject of her career, looking a head, El Khosht acknowledges that although she has played a diverse range of characters, there is still so much she wants to achieve. “I have a strong desire to work on more musical productions,” she explains. “I want to feel completely satisfied with the work that I do in this area. Also, I am drawn to projects based on true stories. There’s a special connection that comes from portraying a real-life character, especially those who may seem shiny on the surface but have a deeper sadness hidden within, like Princess Diana.”

She also wants to take on physically challenging roles. “I want to explore action, fight scenes, or dance – anything that will challenge me to use all of my tools,” she explains eagerly.

Currently, El Khosht is working on a highly anticipated film project with Mando El Adl, written by Mohamed Sadek, and starring Ahmed Hatem and Carmen Bsaibes. “I’m incredibly excited about this project because I believe in the power of actress representation in cinema,” she explains. “In addition, the story itself is both intriguing and smart, and I feel honoured to be part of such a talented cast.”

Enigma Questionnaire

Do you prefer acting, singing, or voiceover work?
Acting. ALWAYS!

What is your favourite thing about acting?
What I love most about acting is the ability to live a thousand lives in one lifetime. I think this is amazing!

You have played both heroic and villainous characters. Which do you find more challenging?
Villainous characters are more challenging to play because of their complexity and the difficulty to connect with them.

Do you prefer working in film or television?
Both television and cinema offer valuable experiences to any actor. Television gives opportunities to learn and grow, and cinema allows actors to create a lasting impact and a legacy.

Who is an actor that you admire in the industry?
Mona Zaki. She’s everything. She’s the girl next door, a massive talent, and has always been up there.

What is the biggest misconception about actors?
That we make a hell of a lot of money. Hahaha.

What do you believe is the most important quality for an actor to possess?
Be completely honest with yourself and your emotions, because it shows.

How do you stay in character during emotionally challenging scenes?
Staying in character is essential to connecting to the characters’ feelings and believing in their pain. I experienced this firsthand actually, last Ramadan, while portraying Israa in Omla Nadra.

Who is your role model?
My mother.

Do you prefer a big or small wedding?
A small wedding.

Would you rather have a garden or beach wedding?
A garden wedding.

What’s your favourite marriage proposal from a movie or TV show?
My all-time favourite is Monica and Chandler’s proposal in Friends!

Photography: Ahmed Mobarez

Stylist: Imen Khamessi

Location: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

Makeup: Dina Ragheb

Hair: Mahmoud Ammer


Anas Kadamani: @anskada
Gold Era: @goldera_eg
El Baz Jewelry: @elbazjewelry
Lily’s Bridal Shoes:
M.S. Headpieces: @m.s.headpieces