Egyptian actor Omar Sharif Jr.’s ‘double-whammy’: Jewish and gayTop Highlights, Breaking News Friday, March 23rd, 2012
The Egyptian grandson of actor legend Omar Sharif has some news to share: he is Jewish and he is gay.
The announcement was made publicly Sunday in an open letter to The Advocate after years of silence. Although relieved to come out as gay, Sharif was admittedly worried of repercussions against his family, namely those in Egypt.
“I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself,” he said. “My parents will be shocked to read it, surely preferring I stay in the shadows and keep silent, at least for the time being.”
On returning to the United States from the turmoil in Egypt, Sharif explained that through the gunshots and political rallies, he was grateful for his privileged life – but not without its price.
“While I benefited from a life of privilege being Omar Sharif‘s grandson, it was always coupled with the onerous guilt that such a position might have been founded upon others’ sweat and tears,” he said.
Sharif expressed disappointment in “hijacked” ideals that were on the cusp of delivery as political revolution temporary unveiled new possibilities in Egypt including equal and human rights.
“I write this article despite the inherent risks associated because as we stand idle at what we hoped would be the pinnacle of Egyptian modern history, I worry that a fall from the top could be the most devastating.
“And so I hesitantly confess: I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay.
“I anticipate that I will be chastised, scorned, and most certainly threatened.”
Sharif urged Egyptian lawmakers and citizens alike to take a stand for equal liberties, adding, “I challenge foreign governments and NGOs present in Egypt today to comment and demand answers on equal and human rights from both the leaders of the revolution and the new government.”
Sharif is an actor who resides in the United States and left Egypt in January 2011 prior to the revolution in the state.
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