Yousra is Egypt’s most renown multi-faceted celebrity that has been gracing the silver screen for more than 30 years. Since the 1970s, Yousra starred in some of the most important films in the history of Egyptian cinema. Her roles in films and TV series are trailblazing and continue to influence and inspire generations. Yousra was named one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women, and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (The Oscars®), in recognition of her rich cinematic history. Yousra’s social stands and opinions have impacted the public domain in Egypt and the Arab world, like no other actress of her generation. She received over 80 awards, certificates of appreciation, from international film festivals all over the world, most notably at Cannes Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival, and Beirut International Festival. Besides, she received significant honors from the Royal College of Physicians in London, the Arab World Institute in Paris and America Abroad Media (AAM) in Washington. The multi talented star sparkled in the world of music, as well. Yousra has several chart-toppers under her belt, including the late hit by Abu, 3 Daqat (3 Heartbeats).
No stranger to fashion, she was Christian Dior's Middle East ambassador. Many of Yousra’s dresses were tailored by international fashion designers like Stéphane Rolland, Elie Saab, Hany El Behairy and Rami Al Ali. Yousra’s exquisite taste in fashion qualified her to be a judge in various fashion, such as the Arab world version of the famous reality TV show Project Runway Middle East, alongside Elie Saab.
In 2014, Yousra was named one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women. She has been appointed as an International Advisory Board member of El Gouna Film Festival.
Yousra is a true master of her trade: For many of her fans, her roles with the legendary superstar Adel Emam are the closest to their hearts. The duo worked together in 17 films with sweeping box-office success, including Al-Ensan Yaeesh Mara Wahida (People Only Live Once), by Simon Saleh in 1981, Ala bab el wazir (On the Minster’s Door), directed by Mohamed Abdel Aziz in 1982, Al-avokato, directed by Raafat Al-Mihi in 1984, The Humans and The Jinns, directed by Muhammad Rady in 1985, and Karakon fe al-sharea (Station on the Street), directed by Ahmed Yehia the following year. The last of these films was the 2009’s hit Bobbos. Her countless collaborations with the late screenwriter Wahid Hamed include over nine TV shows and blockbusters such as El Mansy (The Forgotten), The Yacoubian Building, Terrorism and Kebab (El Erhab Wel Kabab), and Birds of Darkness (Toyor El Zalam).
Yousra also starred opposite the late veteran actor Ahmed Zaki in five films and appeared in 4 of Youssef Chahine’s films: An Egyptian Story in 1982, Alexandria: Again and Forever in 1990, Alexandria... New York in 2004 and The Emigrant in 1994. Chahine had a real powerful impact on Yousra to the extent that she said, “Youssef Chahine’s impact on me is on a personal and a professional level. He is considered more of a school to all the people who are working with him.”
Yousra also starred alongside renowned international Egyptian actor Omar El-Sharif and superstar Amr Diab in Dehk Wa Le'b Wa Gad Wa Hob (Laughter, Games, Seriousness and Love).
Yousra did an outstanding performance in the 2006 film The Yacoubian Building, based on the best-selling Arab novel of the same name, in which she portrayed an owner of a restaurant that is favored by what’s left of Cairo’s aristocrats. With a budget that is thought to be the largest at the time. Variety magazine characterized Yousra's performance in The Yacoubian Building as "effortlessly evoking old romantic memories when she sings 'La Vie en Rose.'
On TV, and particularly in Ramadan, Yousra’s TV series was always “a must see ''. Since Ayna qalbi (Where’s My Heart), in 2002, and then Malak rohi (My Soul Malak), in 2003, Yousra was always keen on addressing the most pressing social issues of the hour in her TV series. Her series also showcased fresh new talents and promising young stars. One of Yousra’s most prominent series is Adiyyeit Raie Aam (A Public Opinion Case), Fi Aid Amina (In Amina’s Hands), Sharbat, the Cunning, Foq Mostawa El Shobohat (Above Suspicion), Kheyanet Ahd (The Betrayal of Ahd) and Harb Ahlia (Civil War). Her serial drama Kheyanet Ahd(The Betrayal of Ahd), aired on TV during Ramadan 2020 to a huge success, won her the DG Best Actress award and received the DG Best Series at the Dear Guest Awards in December 2020.
In the 2022 Ramadan drama season, Yousra headlined the TV series Ahlam Sa’eeda (Sweet Dreams), written by Hala Khalil and directed by Amr Arafa.
In the same year, she was honored at the Arab Satellite Festival and the Negm El Arab Festival.
In addition, Yousra was featured in the official music clip' Dokki Ya Mazzika' of the 4th El Gouna Film Festival where she launched her 'Hareef Tamsil' (Talented Actor) campaign in collaboration with Orange Egypt. The new service is exclusively dedicated for Orange network users where participants submit a video playing a character inspired by any of Yousra's famous characters. The winner was selected to perform with her in her new series, Harb Ahlya (Civil War) in Ramadan 2021. The serial drama is written by Ahmed Adel, produced by EL Adl Group and directed by Sameh Abdel Aziz. In Ramadan 2021, she took part in the ad campaign for ZED Park alongside a plethora of Arab stars, including: Shereen Reda, Karim AbdelAziz, Nelly Kareem, Tara Emad, Huda El-Mufti, to name a few.
Yousra’s film career amounts to over 100 films, the most recent of which is the feature film Saheb El Maqam (The Enshrined Saint), directed by Mohamed El Adl. Premiered on Shahid.net to tremendous success, the film stars Asser Yassin, Amina Khalil, and Bayoumi Fouad, opposite Yousra who marks her comeback to films since Game Over in 2012. Yousra’s first appearance in cinema was in “A Castle in the Air,” directed by Abdel Halim Nasr. Currently, Yousra is working on her new film Leilet El Eid.
Using her fame for a good cause, Yousra is a social worker who gives back to the community and helps raise awareness and supports many social causes. "Poverty is one of the most important issues in the world, and it is the key to agony, therefore if we can decrease the forms of poverty that we come across, I believe our sorrow will also decrease and so will violence against children and women is yet another major concern, for education and environment are matters of great importance,” said Yousra.
She was chosen by the United Nations to be the Regional UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador as she has been known for her participation in social activities with many civil society organizations. Yousra received more than 50 awards in recognition of her work as a UNDP goodwill ambassador. She contributed her time and effort to Coptic Orphans, a non-profit organization based in Merrifield, Virginia, in order to support the Egyptian orphans. In 2007, the organization presented her the "Ideal Award" as a tribute for her efforts and time spent aiding children. "Out of over 50 awards that I’ve received, this one is the one closest to my heart," Yousra stated. Also, Yousra took part in the 500-500 Ramadan campaign to support cancer patients.
Recently, within her role as a Goodwill Ambassador, Yousra participated in the opening ceremony of the 16-day campaign under the theme “Orange the World: #HearMeToo; End Violence against Women and Girls” at the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) to highlight the issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Most recently, Yousra participated in the 3rd Awladna International Forum for Arts of the Gifted that aims to provide the gifted children with special needs with a platform to enrich and showcase their artistic talents and empower them and their families. During the opening ceremony, Yousra performed her new song “Anta Qadha” (You Can Do It) amidst a large number of children with special needs on stage.
Yousra attended the first edition of Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF), delivering a masterclass to educate the movie enthusiasts, which was held after the screenings of its iconic film, ‘Strawberry War,’ that was restored with the support of the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation.
Yousra continued her strong Ramadan streak by starring in Ahlam Saeeda (Happy Dreams) in 2022 alongside Ghada Adel, Mai Kassab, and Shaimaa Seif. The comedy series is written by Hala Khalil and directed by Amr Arafa.