An interview with one of Egypt’s most well-renowned architects & sportsman Mohamed Hazem “Miro”
Mohamed Hazem better known as Miro, is the CEO and Founder of Miro Architects, a firm dedicated to producing intelligent, beautifully crafted, and inventive architectural and interior spaces, as well as actively participating in the design of a more sustainable, inclusive, and cosmopolitan future. He made history by being the youngest designer in the world to win the prestigious International Property Award in 2020, and later on winning the Best Architect Studio category at New York’s Luxury Lifestyle Awards in early 2021.
Miro is not only a successful architect and designer, but he is also a dedicated athlete in every sense of the word, and more importantly, lately a dedicated golf player who is passionate about the sport. Keeping an active life since he was a child until today, Miro has played many sports throughout his life, from football, handball, and fitness, to finally—and interestingly—golf, which was very different than the type of sports he grew up playing.
Sports & Fitness had the ultimate pleasure to have a very captivating talk with Miro, digging deeper into his athletic journey, his rising passion for golf, and how it affected his life and career success.
The Young Athlete
Miro’s passion for sports started when his neighbor, who was a Kong-fu coach, introduced him to Kong-fu when he was 6 years old. Then, he competed in taekwondo which had similar disciplines of kong-fu where he won the national championship of Egypt at the age of 11. “I enjoyed it at first, but quit after winning the national championship because I didn’t enjoy the idea of how aggressive the sport was,” Miro explained. At this point, he was a member of the football school team and the handball team in the sports club he belonged to at the time. He made it to the Egyptian National Team in handball, which was the only national team to win the Olympics in 2010. “I enjoyed the team spirit in handball, and competing at a high level was a great and interesting challenge,” Miro said. “I also enjoyed football… I still do actually. I was a striker and a winger. I was the top scorer in the school league for three years in a row. Well, I was a very competitive kid!”
Sports has always been a crucial part of Miro’s day, and then it became an indispensable part of his life. It was not just the physical aspect that he enjoyed, but it taught him values and helped shape his character in many different ways.
“I remember I had my very first salary when I was about 12 or 13 years old from handball. It was a very basic amount, like EGP 200 per month or something, then the contract started to go up on the go. This made me understand more about the essence of earning money at a young age.”
The Transition Phase from Team Sports to Individual Sports & Golf
When he turned 18, Miro moved to London to study architecture. Handball was not a big thing in the UK; it was very amateur compared to what it was at a professional level. So, he quit handball and continued playing football at university. He quit team sports, but the passion was already in his genes. “Later, I started working out; going to the gym, running, just staying active. Then it became a hobby... the idea of staying fit and remaining healthy has become a part of who I am," Miro said.
This has tremendously affected his lifestyle, daily habits, and routine. “I work out at 7 am, and I walk a lot during the day,” he continued. Early mornings and a desire for long walks are enough to drag any prospective golf enthusiast into the sport at first.
The Rising Passion for Golf
“The idea of playing in a big space surrounded by nature was absolutely tempting. I couldn’t see how beautiful the courses were in Egypt, except when I went and played myself. At first, I was still unaware of all the details and all the rules, but every time I understood it more and played it more, I became crazy about it even more,” Miro shared enthusiastically. “By the end, it indeed became a passion. Golf has a lot to do with life; it is very sophisticated. It is a unique sport that is very different from others. It is not about the calories you burn, as in other sports—although it is still there, you can burn calories with all the walking it requires. But the idea or the concept of the sport is much more than that! It is a very smart game. There are a lot of things to take into consideration. It is very complicated too. I mean, there is so much room for improvement all the time, so once you’re attached, you cannot quit.”
Golf also complements Miro’s lifestyle. “I already wake up very early, and I enjoy that, but sharing those habits and the passion for the sport with others gives it more flavor. On the golf course, you simply leave all the stress at home; it is a place where you free your mind. It is a very nice environment.”
“Golf courses in Egypt compete with the world”—Mohamed Hazem
Miro thinks that golf courses in Egypt are as good as those abroad, if not better; from Katameya Dunes Golf & Social Club, NEWGIZA Golf Club, Sokhna Golf Club, Palm Hills Golf Club, Madinaty Golf Club, to Somabay Golf and El Gouna Golf Club.
He loves to go to different places to play golf and explore new courses. “Last time I played abroad was in Miami in March,” he mentioned. “I still believe that Egypt competes with the world. Katameya Dunes is out of this world; with the water, animals, and birds around. Also, we’re a relatively small community of golfers, so we enjoy it. The number of courses in Egypt is quite good, so there’s always availability to play at all times, unlike abroad.”
Miro continued by mentioning how Egypt also attracts beautiful sites. “Somabay, for example, is one of the wonderful spots. It is designed by Gary Player, one of the most famous worldwide.”
Somabay has one of the largest and most attractive golf courses; an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course and golf academy designed by Gary Player, which most of the posh hotels have access to. “I love Somabay and its golf course. One of the significant projects that I’m currently working on, named Sholan, is in Somabay. It is a residential compound, with 160 units overlooking a beautiful landscape and the beach. We launched an entire phase and it was sold out in 3 days. I’m very excited to see it in reality,” Miro said. He then spoke to us about the challenges faced in this project. “We created the concept in two weeks and were given the whole project. It was an extremely tough month when we couldn’t sleep and could barely do anything on the side. The team stayed up till midnight in the office, but everyone loved what they were doing and we’re very happy with the results.”
Miro participates in most of the golf amateurs’ tournaments. He has just won second place in the Stableford Championship that took place at Madinaty Golf Course in Cairo. He enjoys the sport and its lifestyle, and although he is still not sure if he wants to play professionally in the future, he declared that he would love to do so at some point when he is good enough. “It is a sport for everyone, for all ages. The idea that you can still play till you are really old is interesting enough.”
Miro is also part of the Cairo Golf Club, which has been assembled by one of his friends, and he is participating in the tournament taking place next week.
Miro’s devotion to sports never wavered; he still wants to try more and more sports and explore new activities, embarking on new adventures and discoveries. “I would love to do more water sports. I’m currently thinking about kitesurfing.”
Miro is a great inspiration to every successful designer, architect, and sports enthusiast. He is also one of the encouraging examples that push many others to enjoy the essence of golf at their own pace.