Sharif, an actor like his two-time Golden Globe winning grandfather, left Egypt in January 2011, just before the revolution. (Shutterstock)
The grandson of actor Omar Sharif claims he is worried about returning to his native Egypt after coming out as being gay and half-Jewish.
Omar Sharif Jr. who lived in Egypt until January 2011, just before the revolution, when he moved to the United States, says he also fears for his family following the success of Islamic parties in recent elections.
He wrote in the Advocate Magazine: ‘I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself.
‘My parents will be shocked to read it, surely preferring I stay in the shadows and keep silent, at least for the time being. But I can’t.’
Sharif expressed his disappointment at Egypt’s recent parliamentary elections – which saw victories for several Islamic parties – saying he was now less hopeful that the revolution would lead to a more tolerant and open society.
He added: ‘The vision for a freer, more equal Egypt — a vision that many young patriots gave their lives to see realized in Tahrir Square — has been hijacked.
‘The full spectrum of equal and human rights are now wedge issues used by both the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Islamist parties, when they should be regarded as universal truths.
‘With the victories of several Islamist parties in recent elections, a conversation needs to be had and certain questions need to be raised. Grandfather: Golden Globe winner Omar Sharif Grandfather: Golden Globe winner Omar Sharif ‘I ask myself: Am I welcome in the new Egypt? Will being Egyptian, half Jewish, and gay forever remain mutually exclusive identities?
Are they identities to be hidden? ‘I write … for fear that Egypt’s Arab Spring may be moving us backward, not forward.’ Sharif said admitting to having a Jewish mother was ‘no small disclosure’ for an Egyptian.
The Jerusalem Post pointed out that Sharif’s mother is Jewish, which according to rabbinical tradition makes him fully Jewish.
Sharif, an actor like his two-time Golden Globe winning grandfather, left Egypt in January 2011, just before the revolution. He now resides in the United States.