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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Qatar movie fans express condolences after death of Omar Sharif

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Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif

Expressing their sadness and grief, many film buffs in Qatar have been paying tribute to the Egypt-born screen legend Omar Sharif, who died in Cairo yesterday at the age of 83.

The actor, who rose to international fame particularly for his roles in Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, had a heart attack in a hospital in the Egyptian capital yesterday afternoon, Reuters reports his agent Steve Kenis as saying.

Sharif had been been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Kenis added.

Early years

Born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on April 10, 1932 to a wealthy family in Alexandria, Sharif became interested in acting while studying mathematics and physics at a university in Cairo.

He worked in his father’s timber business for several years before realizing his dream with a role in his first Egyptian movie, Siraa Fil-Wadi (“The Blazing Sun”) in 1953 alongside renowned Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, whom he married in 1955.

Faten Hamama
Faten Hamama

Born a Christian, he converted to Islam to marry Hamama and took the name Omar al-Sharif. The couple had one child, Tarek Sharif, but divorced in 1974 and Sharif never remarried.

Having featured in a number of Egyptian films, he gained international recognition after playing the Arab warrior Sherif Ali in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, which was his first English-language film and which subsequently led to an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

His dashing good looks quickly made him known as a Hollywood heart-throb.

Sharif featured in numerous movies throughout the 1960s but it was playing the title role in the 1965 film Dr. Zhivago, based on the Boris Pasternak novel which was considered to be the high point in his career.

Qatar controversy

He visited Qatar in 2011 for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, where his 1991 film An Egyptian Citizen was being shown, but the trip became controversial when he was filmed hitting a female journalist on the red carpet.

Footage showed him striking out at the journalist, who was later identified as Aisha al-Douri, a correspondent working for the American-owned television channel al-Hurra.

He said in Arabic to Al-Douri: “My dear! I told you I’d get to you afterwards! I just said that and you’re standing here. Put something in your brain!”

Since yesterday, Qatar fans of Sharif have been posting tribues on Twitter to pay their respects to the screen hero:

Thoughts?

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Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago

Lost all respect for him the day he slapped the lady in the face in Qatar.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Me too. She deserved to be punched and he failed to do that. Such a shame, I used to be a huge fan too.

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Saleem, I am very disappointed with your statement if I have understood it correctly. By what you have said you perpetuate the belief that violence towards women is acceptable which it is not. What should have happened is that he be arrested on the spot and charged with assault. From an article that I read recently the administrators of the film festival tried to get the lady in question to agree to a statement that he did not hit her and that it only looked so on camera. She did take legal action against him but I did not hear of the outcome.

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I don’t think he slapped her in the face. I think he slapped her shoulder or perhaps a camera in her hand. It is hard to tell at that angle but her hair wouldn’t have moved up like that and judging by the slap sound in the video her head would move more if he struck her on her face.

Regardless he was wrong to hit her, even if she was being annoying.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I’m not sure many in Qatar are mourning his passing and another one who had to do a fake conversion to marry the one he loved. When will humanity learn.

Omar Not Sherif
Omar Not Sherif
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No one does, trust me.

Kz
Kz
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

As long as you exist there is no hope. When you cease to exist the world will be a better place.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Kz

Wow, seems like my life casts a big shadow over yours. Kick back, poor yourself a nice G&T and learn to love life again.

stephan
stephan
5 years ago

Omar Sharif, whose surname means “the noble man” in Egyptian Arabic,[5][6] was born on 10 April 1932,[7] as Michel Demitri Chalhoub[8] in Alexandria, Egypt,[9] to a Melkite Greek Catholic family of Syrian-Lebanese descent.[10] His father, Joseph Chalhoub, originally from Zahlé, was a wealthy timber merchant who settled in Egypt in the early 20th century, where Omar Sharif was born and raised. His mother, Claire Saada, was a noted society hostess, and Egypt’s King Farouk was a regular visitor until he was deposed in 1952.[11]

Omar Not Sherif
Omar Not Sherif
5 years ago

I came here for the video of the lady being slapped. WHERE IS IT!!

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