Azza Abdel-Moneim, curator of the Mahmoud Saeed Museum in Alexandria, has demanded that Minister of Culture Abdel Wahad El-Nabawy apologise over remarks he made about her weight. Abdel-Moneim vowed to file a complaint against El-Nabawy with the cabinet.
In a Facebook post that went viral online this week in Egypt, Abdel-Moneim recounted an incident with the minister of culture when he visited painter Mahmoud Saeed Museum on 12 April in Alexandria on a surprise visit.
Accompanying the minister on a tour of the museum, Abdel-Moneim told El-Nabawy about a bureaucratic problem that required her to travel to Cairo.
“I told him that I have a problem with the centralisation in Cairo, but he interrupted me and told that he had a problem with fat people,” Abdel Moneim said in her Facebook post, adding that El-Nabawy turned to her manager and told her that she should make the curator run up and down the museum staircase repeatedly so she would lose weight.
“He did not stop, he continued saying offensive remarks about my weight, telling me to run around the museum garden in order to lose weight.”
“I won’t accept this insult because it comes from a man who represents culture and the arts in my country. It would be a disaster that he judges people by how they look and not by merit,” said Abdel-Moneim in her Facebook post which was shared over 12,500 times.
As the post went viral, Abdel-Moneim won huge support online from people who rejected the minister’s remarks demanding him to apologise.
For his part, Minister of Culture El-Nabawy said he did not intend to insult the museum curator and that he made his remarks in order to “break the ice” during his tour of the museum with her.
On Monday, Abdel Moneim revealed that the minister spoke with her by phone and apologised to her.
“I asked him to apologise publicly just like he insulted me publicly, but so far he has not apologised,” she said.