Arabic Language Blog

Omar Sharif Posted by on Oct 17, 2009 in Culture

Omar Sharif (عمر الشريف) is a very famous Egyptian actor who became a world-renowned star. He was born in Alexandria on the 10th of April, 1932 to a rich Catholic family, and his original name was Michael Demitri Shalhoub. As a child, he was fat and liked eating so much; therefore, his mother insisted on sending him to a British school so that he becomes more disciplined and loses weight. So, he joined Victoria College in Alexandria, where he was very much interested in learning languages and in theatre. He performed his first school play at the age of 12, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to become an actor despite objections from his father who wanted him to become a merchant like himself.

After graduating from the American University in Cairo with a degree in mathematics and physics, Omar started to pursue a career as an actor. His friend Youssef Shahin (يوسف شاهين), a famous Egyptian director, offered him the chance to have his first appearance as a star in (صراع في الوادي) “Struggle in the Valley” which was very successful. Faten Hamama (فاتن حمامة) who later became his wife co-starred this film with him. When he decided to marry Faten, he converted to Islam. After their marriage, they worked together on a very large number of films including (أيامنا الحلوة) “Our sweet days”, (لا أنام) “I cannot Sleep”, (سيدة القصر) “the lady of the palace”, among others. Their marriage lasted for more than 15 years, and they had one son.

Omar Sharif started his career outside Egypt with his famous film (لورانس العرب) “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962 which won him international recognition and fame. Sharif has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won a Golden Globe for this film. After that, he starred a number of famous films, e.g “Doctor Zhivago” and “Funny Girl.” Omar Sharif returned to Egypt in the nineties, and he acted some films including (الأراجوز), and one TV soap called (حنان وحنين).

Omar Sharif

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  1. Quintin Gendler:

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