The latest remarks made by internationally well-known Egyptian actor Omar El Sherif during an interview to Times magazine has caused for the rise of a storm of anger among Arab Muslims. Omar made his remarks during the middle of a nomination to the Oscars for his latest film "Mr. Abraham and the Jewels of the Holy Koran" by different international film committees. His film has been suggested to enter the race for best foreign film in addition to nominating him for an award for best actor.
According to the London based Elaph, the remarks that caused the storm of anger were Omar's revealing that he has two grandchildren, one Jewish and the other a Muslim. The actor had stressed that he does not interfere in religious matters and is giving his grandchildren the freedom of choosing which religion they want to follow. Omar added that he will not in any way try to influence them to both follow Islam even if his Muslim grandchild wanted to convert.
Omar's comments came with his new movie, which is about love between an old Muslim and a young Jew. Sherif described his new film as "a comeback." The love portrayed in film is not the kind of dashing romantic role that made him originally famous.
This time, it is a story of love between a lonely old Muslim shopkeeper and a neglected Jewish teen in Paris during the 1960s, who flee loneliness together through a unique relationship and friendship. During the course of events in the film, the Jewish man eventually decides to convert to Islam due to its nature of forgiveness and teachings.
Many believed that Omar's comments were a way of denying his true Arab and Muslim identity and roots, and aiming winning sentimentality and sympathy from American Jews, who are behind the decision making process in the cinema.
The actor did not deny making such remarks with regards to his grandchildren and attempt to calm the storm of Anger. On a different note, his good friend Egyptian actress Nadia Lutfi denied that Omar made such comments stressing that he would never say such a thing. She added that he always makes it a point to hold on to his roots adding that he was faced with such accusations in the past when he acted in a film alongside Jewish actress Barbra Streisand.
Sherif, who rose to stardom in such cinema classics as "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," also received a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement after an impressive long movie career.
Omar Sharif was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1932 into a wealthy Lebanese-Egyptian family and began his career playing in Egyptian films before heading on to Hollywood. –Albawab.com
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