Egyptair apologizes for strange Drew Barrymore “interview” in in-flight magazine

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© Adam Baron

Ahram Advertising Agency, the company behind the controversial article (interview) with Drew Barrymore in Egyptair’s in-flight magazine HORUS has – finally – issued an apology. The article went viral after Adam Baron, an Egyptair passenger, tweeted the article on 2 October. First, Egyptair and Aida Tekla (author and Hollywood reporter) confirmed the genuineness of the article, but yesterday the airline changed its mind.

Amal Fawzy, Editor-in-Chief for the in-flight magazine blames the error on a wrong translation from English to Arabic and back to English (full text at the bottom of the article). “We stress that we hold the highest esteem for the actress Drew Barrymore and we are aware of how successful she is and how many admirers she has around the world. We apologize for any misunderstanding that might be interpreted as an offence to the great artist, the letter ended.

“Highlights of the article”

  • Despite being unstable in her relationships most of her life, despite the several unsuccessful marriages and despite the busy life of stardom that dominated her life for several years; the beautiful American Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore has recently decided to temporary take an unlimited vacation to play her most crucial role as a mother.
  • It is known that Barrymore has had almost 17 relationships, engagements, and marriages…psychologists believe that her behavior is only natural since she lacked the male role model in her life after her parents’ divorce when she was only 9 years.
  • I feel overwhelmed when someone tells me that I have regained my image and managed to lose that extra weight, especially that I felt depressed due to the significant increase in my weight after delivering Frankie. However, I find this a great opportunity to encourage every woman who is overweight to work on regaining her beauty and body, especially that it is not as hard as one may think; it is all about determination and following the appropriate diet under the supervision of a physician.
  • I cannot deny that women made a great achievement over the past century. This is naturally reflected on women in the west who will not be satisfied unless they gain the rights they deserve to the society. This is especially true since women exert tremendous efforts that men are incapable of exerting due to their numerous commitments and obligations.

Full Text of Statement of Ahram Advertising Agency

In reference to the circumstances surrounding the publication of the article on the actress Drew Barrymore and the rumors that the interview did not take place and that it was fabricated, we, the Ahram Advertising Agency, which is responsible for editing, printing and publicity, present the following facts:

First, the interview was submitted to us by Dr. Aida Takla, our correspondent in Hollywood who is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) ), the elected president of the HFPA four times in the past, and a voting member for the Golden Globe Awards.

She has affirmed, on her personal Twitter account, that she corresponds for both Horus magazine and Nisf al-Dunya magazine and that she conducted the interview during a meeting between HFPA members and the actress Drew Barrymore. HFPA has confirmed this in the statement it released which affirms that the members of HFPA met with the star several times.

Secondly, in a telephone communication with Dr. Aida Takla, the representative for Drew Barrymore, mentioned that: ‘Drew Barrymore did not have an interview with EGYPTAIR magazine – Horus”, not knowing that HFPA member Dr. Aida Takla corresponds with Horus magazine, along with other publications.

Thirdly, generally, interviews submitted by Dr. Aida contain a large number of pages and words. For purposes of convenience, the translator who is responsible for writing the Arabic version of the text shortens the piece in accordance with the space available for it in the magazine in which it is to be published.

Fourthly, with regard to the questions surrounding the lead, this was not written by the author of the interview. It is a common practice that, in the event there is no lead from the author of an interview, the editor or translator in charge writes one in a manner that he believes will entice people into reading to the article.

As is generally accepted, the lead is not part of the text of the article. It is a product of the editor’s creativity produced on the condition that it contains no information that is contrary to the truth.

We are about to investigate this by checking thoroughly the source-material that the translator depended on to write the interview.

Fifthly, Arabic is the primary language for reporting. As some interviews from correspondents are submitted in foreign languages, such as French and German, as well as English, all material submitted to the magazine is translated into Arabic first.

This is also necessary because our organization is an Egyptian institution, as is the case with the national carrier. Arabic is the language of communication between Egyptian government agencies and the Arabic text is shown to EGYPTAIR solely to ensure that the published material does not conflict with the company’s current regulations.

The text of the magazine is then translated into English by another translator who engaged with us to ensure that the translated version conforms to the Arabic text. The translator is responsible solely for the accuracy of the translation to English.

Finally, we stress that we hold the highest esteem for the actress Drew Barrymore and we are aware of how successful she is and how many admirers she has around the world. We apologize for any misunderstanding that might be interpreted as an offence to the great artist.

Sincerely, Amal Fawzy, Editor-in-Chief, Horus; Hassan Abdel Monsef General Director, Ahram Advertising Agency Cairo.

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