Iman Mohamed - Cairo
The boy Michel Dmitri Shalhoub, who was born in Alexandria to a Christian family (and not as Jewish as it is rumored to), did not imagine that he would be one of the most important Egyptian movie stars, but he would move to Hollywood, to be the owner of a distinctive footprint in world cinema, making a unique and different journey from The rest of the stars of his generation.
Omar Sharif, who today marks his 88th birthday, coincidentally led him to the world of acting and opened the doors of universality.
His classmate, director Youssef Chahine, who accompanied him at Victoria College in Alexandria, was looking for a new face to star in the movie "Conflict in the Valley" in front of Faten Hamama. By chance, he met Omar El Sharif and offered him acting in the movie that was shown in 1954, announcing the birth of an Egyptian actor competing with the stars This generation is like Shukri Sarhan, Kamal Al-Shennawi and others.
His handsomeness did not limit him to specific roles, as he was keen on diversity and avoiding stereotypes or romantic mold only, and his work with senior directors at that time helped him, so he presented with Youssef Chahine "a conflict in the port", and with Ezzeddin Zulfiqar "River of Love", And with Atef Salem, "A Conflict in the Nile", but his movie "In Our Home is a Man", in which he presented a character of a young man who succeeded in assassinating the prime minister who cooperated with the British colonialism, which caused his arrival in the world.
Lawrence of Arabia
Serendipity came again in the journey of Omar Sharif. When director David Lin came to Cairo to choose an Arab actor who presents the character of the Arab youth in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia", Rushdi Abaza refused to take an acting test to win the role, which prompted the director to grant the role to Omar Sharif after he saw He performed in "In Our Home A Man", as Sharif's first experience in world cinema from the portal of this film, which was produced in 1962.
His overwhelming talent encouraged Lin to give him a bigger role, Prince Ali, who was the key to his entry into a new world of dazzling and acting, so he learned that he not only relied on body movements, and he gained experience from participating global stars like David Lin, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Quinn and Alec Guinness.
The film deals with the life of British officer Thomas Edward Lawrence, who was part of the English forces in Cairo during the First World War, and his intelligence is sent to the Arabian desert to assist Prince Faisal in his revolt against the Ottoman Sultan.
After his success in "Lawrence of Arabia", Omar Al Sharif completed his career with cinema, and presented various experiences of nationality, leaving a huge cinematic balance amounting to approximately 118 cinematic works.
Director David Lynn has once again chosen Omar Sharif, but this time it is the hero of Dr. Zivago in 1965, in front of Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin.
The main events of the film take place in the years before, during and after the Russian Revolution, through the doctor, surgeon, and poet, who also related to two women.
The authoritarian ruler ... The Egyptian citizen
Despite living abroad for many years, and despite the fact that he was never a farmer or mixed with peasants, his imagination as an actor and his talent made Omar Sharif good at presenting the mayor's character in the movie "The Egyptian Citizen" with the director Salah Abu Saif in 1991.
The sheriff chose a job that talks about corruption, nepotism and injustice, as the despotic mayor managed to obtain a ruling against the agrarian reform law to seize 170 acres of peasants. Mayor registering land for the bereaved father.
The tolerant mystic
“A man’s heart is like a caged bird, when his heart dances singing, and then it rises to the sky.” A word by the hero of the movie “Mr. Ibrahim and Flowers of the Qur’an” (M. Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran) expresses the content contained in the work. The movie, released in 2003, was adapted from a novel of the same name as novelist Eric Emmanuel Schmidt.
Omar Sharif was aware of the development experienced by an actor by virtue of his age stage, which was evident in his choices at that stage, in addition to the fact that the film also corresponds to his personal ideas as he grew up in Alexandria, whose people lived in the cosmopolitan society - a world of diverse cultures - that tolerates All religions and races, until the declaration of his Islam and marriage to the Egyptian actress Faten Hamama did not change any of these ideas.
The French film presented it in the figure of the Sufi Muslim who lives in a minority neighborhood in France, and meets a young Jewish man named Momo who lives a miserable life, and a strong friendship arises between them despite their differences in religious beliefs, and Omar Sharif succeeded in presenting the work brilliantly and smoothly, to obtain his distinguished role on French Sears Award.
The magic of life after death
In 2013, Cherif presented his last long cinematic work through the Moroccan-French movie "Rock the Casbah", and the film takes place during three nights, during which the father dies leaving behind a family composed of mostly women, and after his death he continues in life Through the story he tells, he also attends the rituals of preparations for his burial and appears poetically in love with the women who embrace him.
"Omar Sharif printed my childhood as well as the childhood of whole generations of movie lovers. He loved the movie scenario, and his acceptance of working with me was the biggest gift," said director Leila Marrakchi at a French agency.
In spite of the successes that Omar Sharif presented in his life, he admitted in an interview that "if I hadn't made Lawrence of Arabia movie I would have been happy in my life, but I entered another climate and a different life I did not expect, as a Hollywood actor means a word that means a lot and a great temptation for the actors Everyone dreams about it.
His suffering with Alzheimer's
At the end of his life, the artist Omar Al-Sharif suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and he entered a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
“My heart abandoned me without warning,” his words were in his last cinematic roles, so his heart would give him up on July 10, 2015, and he died following an acute heart attack at the age of eighty.