During Part 1 and then Part 2 of the 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way Season 4 Tell All special, Mahmoud angrily stormed off.
That wasn’t an editing trick, either. He stormed off twice — without even physically being on the Tell All stage.
Mahmoud has done a lot of angry ranting and a lot of walking away this season. This time, it wasn’t about Nicole’s clothing — it was about Gabe’s questions.
Did Gabe cross any lines? Or is this just the latest example of Mahmoud flipping out if anyone challenges him?
All season long — and for literal years before they ever filmed for the show — Mahmoud Elsherbiny made it his mission to control how Nicole dresses.
Nicole Sherbiny converted to Islam on her own. She explained that Mahmoud hadn’t pressured her to do so, but had assured her that their kids would be Muslim. If they ever have any.
On the Tell All Part 1, Mahmoud (correctly) asserted that being a Muslim, and different forms of religious expression under Islam, are a personal choice. That seemed to contrast with Mahmoud’s obsession over Nicole’s clothing, however.
The mention of Nicole converting, seemingly in part to share a faith with possible children, prompted a reaction.
Because in practically the same breath as he said that Islam is a choice, Mahmoud announced that he would “teach them how to be.”
And when people — including Gabriel Pabago — had follow-up questions, Mahmoud bristled at it.
Mahmoud began to give off the impression that he wished that the Tell All special were more of a Tell Some special.
Instead of clarifying whether he does or does not believe that children have a right to choose their own faith and religious expression, Mahmoud became angry and defensive.
The beautiful Tell All host, Shaun Robinson, then asked a fantastic, and important question.
Shaun sagely asked if Gabe — and others — would still be asking this question if Mahmoud and Nicole were a Jewish or Christian couple. Those are fellow Abrahamic religions and, for different reasons, many parents who are of those faiths traditionally expect or at least want for their children to share their adherence.
Gabe responded in the affirmative.
As he explained, regardless of the faith, he doesn’t believe that anyone should “force” something upon someone else. Especially their children. And he’s right, of course.
In fact, one could set aside religion altogether and use, instead, an example like vegetarianism. Many people are passionate about the topic, but it’s a little less loaded.
Simply put, if we watched a season of a husband demanding that his wife not eat meat, it would be uncomfortable. If he repeatedly picked fights over her meals, fans would have concerns.
And viewers — and likely Gabe — would also have questions if it sounded like Mahmoud were going to force future children to adopt a particular diet. Especially since he has struggled (at best) when seeing his adult wife make her own choices.
No one made the vegetarianism analogy on the Tell All. But we also doubt that it would have helped.
Mahmoud did not want to listen to Gabe, or to any further questions.
Despite hours and hours of footage of him coercing his wife into dressing differently than she would like — or scolding her for doing otherwise — he strongly objected to the use of “force.” As in, the word, “force.”
We wish that we could say that we all saw Mahmoud’s expletive-laden meltdown coming, or that he had some sort of good reason for it.
Gabe did mildly insult Mahmoud … but that in and of itself was only a response to Mahmoud’s mounting hostility.
We all figured that the fan-favorite and one of the season’s villains wouldn’t get along. But most of us did not anticipate this meltdown.
Screaming expletives at Gabe, Mahmoud ripped off his microphone and stormed away from the chair and the camera.
He was filming back in Egypt, with a production crew on hand.
Meanwhile, back on the Tell All stage, Nicole cried tears of embarrassment.
Obviously, Mahmoud has done something like this many times before.
In the past, his anger has been towards Nicole herself — for not buttoning a jacket, for having sleeves that don’t reach her wrists.
As we saw on Part 2, Mahmoud’s anger towards Gabe spiraled into a furious rant over the phone as he complained to Nicole about how unfair Gabe was being.
Just for the record, neither Nicole nor Mahmoud have any children. Nicole is also not pregnant, as far as anyone is aware.
From what we know, Nicole has been living and working in the US to pave the way for Mahmoud, in anticipation of his arrival in America.
(The odds are pretty good that they’ll get a season of 90 Day Fiance — at least, they’re set up for it)
But Mahmoud acted as if Gabe had personally insulted real children, instead of asking a fairly simple (though emotionally loaded, clearly) question about the rights of hypothetical children.
He wasn’t complaining to Gabe, though.
Mahmoud was whining and ranting to Nicole, who may have signed up for this but truly does not deserve it.
Mahmoud also seemed like he wanted to quit the Tell All.
That could potentially put him in breach of contract.
It would also make it so that this obnoxious tantrum was the last moment that viewers saw of him.
Nicole clearly did not want that from him.
Mahmoud complained to producers (who at least got paid to hear him complain) and threatened to rage-quit the Tell All.
It took a tremendous amount of coaxing from Nicole for him to return to the Tell All stage.
Mahmoud took a while to calm down.
In addition to pacing and ranting, he also kicked some nearby trees multiple times.
This was not only on camera, but in view of people walking by on the street. For some of it, he was on the sidewalk.
We don’t fully understand why this fairly simple and mildly confrontational interactions set him off like this.
Mahmoud clearly does not handle conflict well.
But perhaps there is more to it than that? Hopefully, we will understand better on Part 3, when his brother Ahmed joins.
We hate to belabor Mahmoud’s tantrum at length, but it went on for so long.
He also complained that Gabe had made him “look bad.”
And then he declared, repeatedly, that he was “not sorry.” Charming!
Now, we viewers know that Gabe could have been more diplomatic with his questions.
Production very deliberately shows the cast many (but not all) clips from the season ahead of the Tell All, so often they see each other’s worst moments very freshly before they meet.
Nothing that he said or did warranted any part of this. Was there something else going on with Mahmoud? Is this tied to his anxieties about coming to America? We’re at a loss.
Mahmoud returned to the Tell All stage.
He got back even before Nicole did. She was still on the phone with him.
Mahmoud was not in a better mood, however, declaring that he wanted “to see this [expletive] asshole want.”
And then Mahmoud worked himself up into enough fury to storm off again.
This left the Tell All stage in a state of discomfort.
With Mahmoud no longer on screen, Gabe did apologize to everyone … though all that he did was ask a question and be kind of confrontational about it.
Somehow, Mahmoud returned, and so did Nicole.
At this point, Gabe offered a calmer apology for offending Mahmoud. He also wanted to explain himself.
He noted that his father and stepmother and other family members are Muslim. He’s not anti-Islam. But, in his family, religious adherence is a choice. (As it should be — what’s the meaning of faith if it’s not voluntary?)
It’s not clear if any of that reached Mahmoud. We can expect callbacks to this tantrum in the future.
Meanwhile, backstage, Tim Malcolm and Veronica Rodriguez discussed what they had just witnessed.
It was shocking. Especially to Veronica, who had previously supported this couple.
Tim noted that Gabe hadn’t asked or said anything that was “that bad.” He has witnessed much more uncomfortable Tell All confrontations. We all have.
If this is how Mahmoud reacts to some pretty natural questions, Tim suggested, he might be in the wrong place.
Gabe could have been nicer, but he didn’t cross any lines. This seems to be how Mahmoud reacts to being “challenged.” That’s not healthy. And Nicole deserves better.