Omar Sherif back on Arab screens

Omar Sherif, the great Egyptian actor, has announced he will be returning to Arab cinema after a long absence. Sherif was one of the defining actors of golden age of Arab cinema in the 1960s, when he played doe-eyed heartthrobs in films by luminaries like Youssef Chahine (when he still produced good movies). But after the mid-1960s (when he starred in Dr. Zhivago), he mostly starred in Western movies, acting in a bunch of fairly poor or unknown movies until he made his comeback in the French film Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran and Hidalgo.

According to the UAE based daily, Al Bayan, the first film Sherif plays the role of a Palestinian man who is shocked when he hears his son’s voice on the radio vowing to sacrifice his life for the sake of his land. The film holds the title “Al Manfi” (The Vanished). In the second film, Omar plays the role of a lawyer who defends a Palestinian child and tries to return him back to his family after Israeli soldiers kidnapped him and changed his name into a Jewish one.


The third film Omar will star in is Egyptian under the title of “Ain Baba” (Where is Father), in which the actor plays the role of an immigrated businessman who discovers he has a daughter in Egypt. He returns to Egypt and goes on a quest in the hope of finding her and through the process more then ten different girls claim that they are his daughters.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.