After scooping up the trophy for Best Actor for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody at Sunday’s Academy Awards, Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek went backstage and showed off his Arabic-speaking skills to the press. He also gave some valuable advice to young Arabs, reported Egyptian Streets.
“There’s plenty of Arab talent growing up loving Rami Malek. What would you say to these guys, in Arabic if possible?” a reporter asked him.
“Well, I will begin by saying ahlan wasahlan, forsa saeeda we menawar” Malek replied. He then went on to say how he had never completely proud of his identity and always felt as an ‘outsider’ before he learnt more about the ‘magic’ and ‘pure art’ of the Middle East.
“As a kid, part of me felt like I needed to shed some of it. I didn’t feel like I fit in; I definitely felt like the outsider. As I got older, I realised just how beautiful my heritage and tradition is,” he shared. “The wealth of culture, magic, music, film, and just pure art that comes out of the Middle East…I am so privileged to represent it, and to anyone from there, we all got a shot at this!”
In his acceptance speech, Malek said, “We’re longing for stories like this,” referring to Mercury who was also an immigrant struggling with his identity. “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first generation American and part of my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful,” he had stated.
Malek was born to Egyptian Coptic Orthodox couple Said and Nelly Abdel-Malek, who left Cairo in 1978 and settled in Los Angeles. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003, he worked as a pizza delivery boy and also made falafels and shawarma sandwiches at a restaurant in Hollywood while trying to make it big as an actor.
His breakthrough began with Mr Robot, which received critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe for Best Television Drama Series.
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