Film legend Omar Sharif gets solemn sendoff
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Actor Omar Sharif, 83, died on July 10 of a heart attack after a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. His funeral ceremony was held in his native Egypt. AFP PhotoClose friends and family paid respects on July 12 to cinema legend Omar Sharif, who will forever be remembered as the eponymous “Doctor Zhivago,” at a solemn funeral in his native Egypt.
Sharif, 83, died on July 10 of a heart attack in an upmarket Cairo clinic after a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The funeral was held at the grand mosque of Mushir Tantawi in an eastern neighborhood of the Egyptian capital, where key religious ceremonies are often held.
Sharif’s remains were later buried at El Sayeda Nafisa cemetery in the city’s south.
The service was attended by a group of Sharif’s relatives, friends and Egyptian actors. His body was in a casket draped in the Egyptian flag and a black shroud.
Journalists outnumbered mourners, and there was no sign of any Hollywood stars at the memorial service, which was attended by Culture Minister Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawi.
Sharif’s death came six months after that of his ex-wife and iconic Egyptian actress, Faten Hamama, known as the “Lady of the Arabic Screen.”
Converted to Islam
Born Michel Demitri Shalhoub, a Christian, Sharif converted to Islam to marry Hamama, who he described as the only love of his life. The couple had a son, Tarek, who was somber during the funeral.
They divorced in 1974 when Sharif, already famous in his homeland, launched a career in Hollywood. He never remarried.
The winner of two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” Sharif captivated audiences worldwide for more than half a century.