In the past few days all hell broke loose on Actor and Wama band singer Ahmed Fahmi after the statements he made in his most recent TV appearance on “Ana w Ana” show. Fahmi had disclosed lots of information about his personal life and relationship with his wife, mentioning that he had deprived her from pursuing her career as a singer before and that he thinks that there should be a “ceiling” for women, such talk outraged the majority of the audience.
Since we are all about women empowerment, we decided to respond with a meme expressing our disapproval of Fahmi’s announcements.
However, because every story has two sides and media is about objectivity, we decided to give Fahmi the space to elaborate on his comments. So we contacted him and asked all the questions that might cross your mind.
You said “الستات ماينفعش تمرح” (Women can’t be left to do whatever they want) .. So we were wondering, “ينفع الرجالة تمرح؟” (Can men be left to do whatever they want?)
Of course not. First of all I would like to say that I was highly misunderstood, what I said was taken out of context and misinterpreted. What I meant when I said this was that any two people in a relationship are constrained by the ground rules that they agree on from the beginning. Amira, my wife, also sets rules for me that I have to follow because I respect our relationship and my commitment to her. So for instance I can’t spend the night out, I always have to sleep at home unless I have work and I am obliged to do so. Also when I come to consider the acting roles that I get offered, I can’t accept any roles that require the performance of sexual or intimate scenes.
What did you mean by that there should always be a ceiling for women? How would you justify this in a way where you don’t end up being sexist?
When I said this I was only talking about my wife and my relationship and I was not trying to determine the fate of all women on earth. What I meant was that usually any partners in a relationship set a moral ceiling for each other, and I personally have to abide by it just as much as she has to. After all, Amira and I have been happily married for twenty years, we are both pursuing our careers, we are both successful and we have two beautiful kids. I support her in all of her concerts, I always attend and I sometimes join her on stage.
If you are saying that you did not mean what people understood, why do you think this is the message that people got anyway? Or where did you go wrong?
Amira and I could have come out and pretended that our life was perfect from day one. We could have put on a great show and went home in peace, but we chose not to. We chose to be honest about the ups and downs that we faced all through our relationship. I met my wife 20 years ago, of course I was a totally different person. What Amira was referring to in her talk was the man I used to be then, and the relationship that we had at the time. Now both of us changed and none of these things are valid today. I guess the confusion is that people did not pay attention to her use of the “past tense”. But people change, and I did not want to lie about who I was.
Hmm .. so what do you think about working women then?
I was born in a house of women, I have 5 sisters and an amazing mother. My mom started working at the age of 16 and only quit her job about 5 years ago. She has always been supporting the family financially and has played a great role in my life. She raised me to be the man that I am today, so how can I not appreciate women and their work?
If you say so, what do you mean by أخواتي بالجزمة? And does being an “Eastern man” justify for you such offensiveness?
I admit that I totally used the wrong term. I was only joking and I did not mean to put myself in a position superior to them. I respect them all, and they have their own businesses and careers. When I said this they weren’t offended at all because they know that I don’t meant it the way it was understood.
How do you think what you said affects men who practice all sorts of control on their wives in our society? What would they say when they hear the singer/influencer, well-educated, civilized, modern man say that he won’t let his wife talk to male strangers?
Again, that was said in the past tense. This was who I am at a certain point in my life. We were both young and we did not know any better. We are two different people now. I trust my wife with everything. I spend approximately 70% of the time outside the house because of my work commitments. Can you tell me, if I don’t let her talk to strangers, who talks to the carpenter, the plumber and everyone else then?
Do you have anything else that you would like to say?
I just believe that if we are asking for freedom, we should be able to give it first. We need to respect people’s personal lives, their past, their present and not judge them without knowing the whole story. Shows get edited and when they do, it is very likely that your statements will be taken out of context and they won’t mean the same things anymore.