“Everybody makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they have to pay for it for the rest of their lives”

By: Nour Sakr


With the hashtag #شيماء_عبد_المنعم trending on both Twitter and Facebook, Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Abdel Moneim has gone viral through social media for asking Leonardo DiCaprio a horribly phrased, completely empty and incomprehensible question at the Oscars.
Well, it is not about her bad English. It’s okay for a “foreigner” to misspell and mispronounce a few words, but as a professional journalist and reporter, this is not a valid excuse for Abdel Moneim. She was covering the Oscars for a very well known Egyptian Journal. I’m really curious to know on what basis do they assign reporters to cover big events because usually the best goes to represent the journal in huge events. If she, who cracked everyone in the room after she introduced herself as “first Egyptian journalist covering Oscars” and asked, “What about first Oscar for you?” is the best, then this is bad… but not the end of the world, right?
It should be noted that Abdel Moneim was not the first Egyptian to cover the Oscars; Yehia nailed it before she did!


As funny as this sounds, it is actually sad because… well, imagine yourself standing in front of Leonardo Dicaprio face-to-face. He knows your name and is aware of your existence. You’d probably blackout, swallow your tongue, lose your memory and die.


On social media, people are tweeting, posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of Abdel Moneim and questioning the reason why she was chosen to cover the Oscars.


After the video of the moment went viral, people criticized this Journal for sending someone who actually “can’t speak English” to cover the event.
The whole thing is just totally unprofessional and a complete disaster. As we continued to watch all her videos of the night, it became evident that she struggled to announce the names of the winners. Even worse, some people pointed out that all the footage, including photographs, at Hollywood appeared to be filmed with a selfie-stick.
What I don’t get is, if Egypt is full of people who are professional reporters, who have been through all the tough obstacles before, and can speak English along with many other languages fluently, then what is the reasoning behind sending someone who basically speaks three words and simply keeps re-ordering them. It’s a shame how Egyptian organizations don’t give proper chances to those who are component and deserving.
This doesn’t mean en ehna nshno2 el bent y3ni. Even “Variety” didn’t comment on Abdel Moneim’s question but rather on how DiCaprio gracefully handled it. Unfortunately, what goes viral becomes very hard to control—especially with the “Egyptian Avwara!”