Sunday 25 September 2016

'I have sinned against myself and my country' - Egyptian journalist who asked DiCaprio awkward question at Oscars

Published 08/03/2016 | 08:13

Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu in the press room at the Oscars 2016
Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu in the press room at the Oscars 2016

Even for seasoned journalists press conferences can be intimidating as a microphone is passed amongst your international peers and the talent is right there, staring down at you, willing you not to ask a tough question.

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For first-time Oscars reporter Abdel Moneim, coming face to face with Best Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio in the press room at the Oscars it all became a little too much.

The Egyptian reporter, from the Youm7TV network, panicked when she got the microphone and asked, "I am the first Egyptian journalist covering the Oscars from here.  And that's about the first Oscar for you?"

After a few moments of akward silence, DiCaprio replied with, "I'm sorry, what was your question?"

Of course Abdel became the butt of jokes online and a week later she has apologised on Facebook and explained how the attention is affecting her and her family.

“I have sinned against myself and my country,” she wrote.  “I also wronged the paper that trusted me … and let down readers who wanted stronger coverage.

“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 realising my dream.

“I can get over the humiliation and criticism of my performance, but the personal insults have affected my husband, daughter, and family.

“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,” adding the criticism will push her to “develop myself and work hard to cover the Oscars next year.”

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