Meet AUC Student Nala Kamel, the Personality Behind Nala Says and 'Purple Talks'
When she is not in class, AUC junior Nala Kamel uses her talent for presenting and social media savvy to connect with and inspire her peers.
A communication and media arts major, Kamel is the personality behind Purple Talks, an online series in which she interviews young actors, celebrities and influencers to find out how they achieved their success.
“The main aim of the program is to encourage youth and encourage younger generations to take steps to achieve their dreams”, Kamel explained. “By showing them how different public figures have made it, the program encourages people to start taking the initiative in pursuing what they love”.
Kamel publishes Purple Talks on YouTube and also shares the interviews across social media - including Instagram, Facebook and TikTok under the name “Nala Says.” To date, she has mostly interviewed leaders and success stories within the entertainment industry.
Kamel started her project in 2019 during her first year at AUC. “When I was in high school, I was always passionate about presenting on different class projects. At the beginning of university, I decided to take a big step and start the program,” she recalled.
She began by pitching the project to production agencies, explaining the concept for Purple Talks. Her first interview was with actor Ahmed Dash, an integrated marketing communication senior at AUC, who she connected with via a mutual friend.
Purple Talks’ success has made it easier to find guests over time. Recently, Kamel enjoyed interviewing comedy star Bayoumi Fouad. “He’s a very fun person to get to know. If you watch him on TV, he is always fun and genuine,” she described. “In person, he's very mature and down to earth. He gave me a lot of advice about the field.”
Nala Says has also brought major changes to Kamel’s life. “It has helped me to develop a lot. I have become more responsible and more practical”, she explained.
Working on Nala Says while also pursuing school full-time has forced Kamel to learn about work-life balance and how to prioritize her mental health while still pursuing her goals.
“I have gained a lot, but at the same time, I have had to make a lot of sacrifices, such as time with family and friends. I came to the realization that I need to have a balanced lifestyle,” she explained.
Kamel noted that her professors at AUC have been very understanding and supportive of her work. “They encourage me all the time,” she said.
Oftentimes, Kamel’s pursuits both inside and outside the classroom reinforce one another, helping her to manage her time efficiently and enhance her learning experience.
She explained: “Almost all my assignments connect to what I do in my work, and my work complements my studies. For example, in my Multi Multimedia Writing, Production course last semester, we had to interview someone for a podcast and write up a feature. I was able to do this on my platform and use the same brainstorming and research process I use in my work.”
Kamel’s platform has led to opportunities to attend, host and speak at events. Last year, she moderated a panel at the ninth annual RiseUp Summit on how artists can use their platforms to raise awareness. She was also on the red carpet in 2021 conducting interviews at the ElGouna Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival.
As her profile has grown, Kamel has also been called on to share her own experiences as a young person successfully pursuing her own dreams. In November, she gave a speech at the Tedxyouth@TheNile titled “Risk It All and Trust the Process”.
“I felt wonderful to have this opportunity. I am always trying to develop my own skills in order to help others who are trying to achieve similar goals or have other dreams they want to work toward,” Kamel recalled.
In January this year, Kamel had the opportunity to attend the fourth World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, which connects promising young people from around the world, empowering them to share ideas and experiences in the areas of peace, development and creativity.
Of the experience, Kamel said, “I was very happy seeing so many young people coming together in one place to explore ideas and expand their creativity. I believe that the WYF has a great impact on Egypt’s economy, and it is very eye opening for the youth who attend.”
During the conference, she interviewed guests such as actor Amir El-Masry, Mervat Abou Oaf ‘88, ‘02, professor of practice at AUC’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and wellness entrepreneur Farah Nofal, asking them what advice they would give to today’s young people.
Asked if she had any advice for her peers at AUC, Kamel reflected, “I don't really believe in advice, but I will say that it’s important to always take the initiative. Once you start working toward your goal, everything else will all unfold naturally.”