Omar Sharif at Doha TFF: Is He the Last Great Arab Movie Star?


By now we’ve all heard about the incident, involving Omar Sharif and a pushy Egyptian journo. Even though I was a few feet away, no I did not witness it personally, the video is unclear and so I’ll reserve my opinion. But what I can say is that I spent a good 30 minutes with Omar Sharif right before it all allegedly happened and he behaved like ever the gentleman in my presence. Now, about answering questions he doesn’t approve of or finds mundane, that’s a different story… Sharif is wonderfully evasive and refuses to say anything that can be used as a slogan for institutions or to promote an organization.

Yet don’t be quick to chuck up the actions of this mega star from the Arab world to his age and health. In front of me, in the Press Lounge at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, stood an Omar Sharif whose face may show a few extra lines, whose voice may seem a bit softer but whose mind is as sharp as it ever was, if not rendered sharper by time and experience. His secret? “I exercise, now that I’m older, I run three thousand steps every day, I count them while I’m running, it occupies my brain. Even before I came here I did my 3,000.” An avid ex smoker, Sharif had triple bypass surgery, then after suffering a heart attack in 1994 quit the habit altogether.

Dressed in a black polo and black trousers, Sharif admitted to living out of a suitcase at this time in his life, albeit “a nice suitcase, very strong” he said smiling, tongue in cheek. Asked what he did with his Golden Globes, he casually dismissed the question with an “I don’t have them anymore… I had so many prizes, French César, Leone d’Oro from Venezia… I can’t travel with these things, so I left them in the hotels with housekeeping.” (CONTINUED)

Read the entire profile on The Huffington Post

Top image courtesy of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival

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