Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Egypt: Celebrities sans Diplomacy

Bikya Masr reported two stories a couple of days apart about celebrity blunders and lack of tact.

Egypt’s chief Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass called American pop-star Beyonce a “stupid person” during her brief tour of the Giza pyramids:

during Hawass’ self-guided tour, he said “I showed her the Sphinx and I gave her a book on King Tutankhamen,” but then his anger and frustration made its way to the forefront.

“Then he stopped being diplomatic and said in anger, ’she’s a stupid person and she doesn’t understand a thing and she doesn’t want to understand’,” wrote Summer al-Gamal for Al Shorouk Newspaper.

Hawass is known for his outbursts. A number of foreigners have told Bikya Masr that he has employed Arabic to insult others at dinner events and gatherings, believing the non-Egyptians will not understand his Arabic. Beyonce, obviously, did not understand his jabs, Gamal said.

And speaking as an honored guest at the Cairo International Film Festival, Salma Hayek described how she was sexually harassed in Egypt when she was 17:

Hayek said she went on a touristic tour of Cairo, visited the Pyramids since her arrival earlier this month and expressed her happiness to visit Egypt for the second time in her life and that she thinks the country is very safe, saying she could accompany her daughter in the streets of Cairo without fear. In her native Mexico, where kidnapping is commonplace, this would be unheard of, the Frida, From Dust till Dawn and Fools Rush In star told the audience.

But, she recalled memories of her first visit to Cairo 26-years ago when she was 17, which immediately garnered the applause of the audience for revealing her age.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site