Your Interview Maria Younan Nassif
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
Hi, I’m Maria Younan, I have my own business, it is “M Y Lighting Design Consultant “, We are working as independent lighting designers providing consulting services in lighting design for indoor and outdoor, and now we are based in Egypt.
I graduated in 2011 with B.S in Architecture Engineering University, I was searching for a job in architecture as a fresh graduate, and by chance, I found a job in a Lighting Supplier company as a junior lighting designer, I was hesitant to accept the job first, I didn't even know what is the lighting design, what is its importance.
In the end, I decided to take the job, then I realized that lighting design is my greatest passion as I can live all my life doing that, So I’m working from that moment to now as a lighting designer for 11 years.
Tell us about your work – is there a specific type of project you like to work on or an area you specialise in and why?
I love everything related to lighting design, I like to work on any project as I admire the idea of changing the look and the mood of the architectural design, lighting can enhance the architecture or even level it up from basic to unbelievable.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I worked on a huge project, I am very proud to be the lead lighting designer of it, “Tahrir Square and the Old Egyptian Museum” in Egypt, my scope was façade’ and landscape lighting design.
The Project contains a roundabout with a high Pharaonic obelisk and Four rams around, there were 20 buildings surrounding the roundabout varying between residential and historical building types like Egyptian Museum, Omar Makram Mosque, and American University.
It was a great challenge to design lighting for a project of this huge scale and also to mix between the architectural lighting and make the buildings to be the surrounding magical backdrop for a great event that the whole world witnessed, the “Pharaohs Golden Parade” which took place in Egypt in April 2021.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
I already faced two challenges in my career:
The first one was that we don’t have a lighting design study in universities or even courses here in Egypt, so when I realized that is my passion it wasn’t that easy to learn each detail of lighting.
The second challenge was that I wasn't expected to be a committed, forever student, self-learner, or self-development, the big one is that I wasn’t expected to succeed at all, Just Because of my many other responsibilities in my life because I’m a woman, wife and a mother of a cute boy.
Other People were saying that I can’t do it, But I did it and overcome all that thoughts.
How does light inspire you?
It is often the mystery of light that inspires me the most. Light can be shining, Light can be drama, Light can be magic, Light can make a shadow, Light can change anything from normal to special, Light can affect our mood and feelings, Light can make a story, and it can be an unbelievable story if we combine light with music in good harmony. Light can make a painting as if it were drawn by a professional artist if we combine light with time in good control. So for me, Light is the magical key.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
Fight like a woman! Because you are powerful in every possible way, Stay positive and strong girl. You can win this world with your brain and purity.
Finally, I am delighted to be a part of such a community with all my colleagues who are devoted to light. I hope to be together more and share more experiences in the future.
Maria Younan Nassif
Diploma - Urban Design
“The mystery of light is that which inspires me the most. Light can be shining, Light can be drama, Light can be magic, Light can make a shadow, Light can change anything from normal to special, Light can affect our mood and feelings, Light can make a story, and it can be an unbelievable story if we combine light with music in good harmony. Light can make a painting as if it were drawn by a professional artist if we combine light with time in good control. So for me, Light is the magical key.”