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My secret meeting with Oprah Winfrey

on October 16, 2010



Elegantly dressed; wearing my natural make-up which I had put very neatly this time, I headed to my appointment with Oprah Winfrey.

Oh my God! After all that time, I have got my dream coming true; my dream of fame and meeting my beautiful example; Oprah Winfrey!  Thousands of us dream of this, but very few get it. And, I am of those few who got it!

I don’t think that Oprah herself was preparing for such a meeting.

She should have known that one day she will meet up with some Arab, brilliant Muslim like me. Now, I can change that bad image about Islam and Arab. Yes, definitely. Those who achieve success can change the overall view about their race. Since Arab and Muslims have been known for being terrorists, there has got to be several examples of success to prove otherwise.

Although I do love her, I went mad at her episode about women from all over the globe. I noticed that she had presented all women in a light hearted humorous way; either showing their food habits or their family traditions. However, when it came to the Middle East, the show turned into some tragic turnover presenting women of the Middle East as of a deteriorated kind, covered in black from head to toe, being less in value than men and walking behind them both in streets and rank.

Today, I will change this!

It all started two weeks ago, when I received that phone call telling me that Oprah Winfrey in person is asking to meet me.

I entered the studio. It is the same as it shows on TV, except for the cameras and the huge crew behind the scene. I am in the heart of the event!

I greeted Oprah Winfrey with a big smile. I told her that I looked forward to meeting her and that she has been a model of inspiration to lots of women around the world; a fact that is well-known to her and to others. It could have been that inner feeling of excitement at her show, or may be the few English words I gained that urged me to stress that fact and re-emphasize on it thanking her.

I sat beside her on that white sofa. Ah! It was very comforting indeed. Focus, focus … I need more focus to be a very good presentable person and to set the example I want to establish.

Lights sparkled all over the place. Now, there was silence. The show will start.

It is starting!

It started!

With her beautiful smile and loud humorous confident voice, Oprah started her show.

I felt my eyes rolling inside my eyes; knowing no place to settle down. Catching my breath became very hard, but I will manage. She will definitely ask me about my family life and my career progress.

 I explained myself telling her how I was raised in a moderate Islamic family. I emphasized the fact that my father has taught us to be ambitious and to seek knowledge.

And then she moved on.

Oprah: tell us more about your aspirations after your success.

Me: Well, my aim is to change the stereotyping attitude towards whatsoever; gender, races, religions, especially that one laid against the Islamic and Arabic world. In fact, I have had this idea since very long; exactly, when I had a chat with some girl from England years ago. At the beginning, she was so astonished that an Egyptian girl like me can speak and understand English well. What was more shocking for me was her question “are you setting on your rock computer?!” She had that naïve attitude and image that Arab are very much behind technology; and even behind life itself. I hate that image of Arab men and women delineated in movies. I believe that I can change this.

Oprah: I admire your thought, but tell me, do you believe that dreams have got a ceiling?

Me: Definitely not. You can dream of whatever. The only thing you need is to have the power to believe in your dream, and it will eventually come true. Know what, I dreamt of meeting you (smile), and of publishing my message to the whole world … So, you have got to dream, dream, dream …

Tell you the truth. This is all fake; not my ideas and perspectives, because I highly believe in them and in my ability to achieve them, but this meeting! I have never met Oprah Winfrey but in two cases; watching her show on TV and in my dreams.

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