CAIRO: Journalist Shaimaa Abdel Moneim has issued an apology to her compatriots for her performance at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Feb. 28, when she fumbled asking a question to recent winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
“I have sinned against myself and my country. I also wronged the paper that trusted me……..and let down readers who wanted stronger coverage,” Abdel Moneim wrote on her Facebook page.
Abdel Moneim shot to internet stardom in Egypt after she tried to ask Leonardo DiCaprio a question in a press conference following the ceremony. After 30 minutes of him answering questions about his win, Shaimaa took the microphone, introduced herself as the first Egyptian to cover the Oscars, and asked “What about your Oscar?” following with “It’s your first, what about that?”
“I received an opportunity and missed it because of my lack of experience, and in the confusion of the moment I found myself just steps away from realizing my dream,” Abdel Moniem said.
Egyptian as well as Arabic press have run wild with the exchange, which has spawned a slew of memes and parody videos.
Even Volkswagen Saudi Arabia tweeted a photo mocking the exchange.
“I can get over the humiliation and criticism of my performance, but the personal insults have affected my husband, daughter, and family,” Andel Moneim wrote, adding that she hopes her daughter looks up to her and sees the work she did to realize her dream.
“I promise that this experience is a lesson I will not forget… and it has taught me that being a good journalist will require hard work,” she said, adding that she has had a learning experience early in her career, that she hopes to grow from.
Abdel Moniem went on to thank her detractors, saying that their criticism will push her to “develop myself and work hard to cover the Oscars next year.”