There’s Something About Omar

Omar Sharif Jr, grandson of iconic actor Omar Sharif, has come out.

Twice.

Omar Sharif Jr (via Facebook)

Model and actor Omar Sharif Jr., the grandson of Egyptian screen icon Omar Sharif, has revealed not only that that he is gay but also that his mother is Jewish.

In a passionate article posted in The Advocate, Sharif, who resides in LA, lamented the fate of Egypt after the 2011 revolution: “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.”

He continued: “That my mother is Jewish is no small disclosure when you are from Egypt, no matter the year. And being openly gay has always meant asking for trouble, but perhaps especially during this time of political and social upheaval. With the victories of several Islamist parties in recent elections, a conversation needs to be had and certain questions need to be raised. 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?”

Judaism is matrilineal according to the Halacha, or Jewish law, which means if a mother is Jewish her offspring are also considered Jewish. Hence, Sharif would be considered fully Jewish. Muslim tradition, however, is patrilineal, meaning the faith is passed down via the father.

I wonder what Omar thinks of it. Because we already know he has a temper.

12 thoughts on “There’s Something About Omar”

    1. For a gay Jew, West Hollywood ain’t bad, either. And Omar Sharif played a Jew in “Funny Girl” as Barbra Streissand’s love interest Nicky Arnstein, so he’s probably quite accepting of his grandson.

        1. Gay people are becoming more and more accepted and welcomed by the larger society in many parts of the world. This may cause you some discomfort, but don’t despair, Shy Guy. It gets better.

  1. Wait. Is his father muslim? Then what would he be? Jewish AND muslim? I mean for real? How messed up he must become….talking about identity crisis…and gay…wow

  2. Omar Sharif comes from a Catholic Lebanese family originally so I imagine his son and Omar Jr’s father is also Christian and not Muslim. Christians in Egypt comprise 10% of population and in a country of 70 million that’s a lot of Christians especially for an Arab country. Nevertheless, Omar Jr would be considered Jewish.

    1. Yes, but Sr. converted to Islam for the purpose of marrying either his 1st or 2nd wife. Whereas in Judaism, “Once a Jew, always a Jew”, not sure if that holds up in Christianity…since they’re not an “ethnicity” as Jews are (using that word loosely, of course).

      So assuming Sr’s son considers himself Muslim, then according to Islamic Patrilineal descent, Omar is indeed considered a Muslim by Muslims; a Jew by Jews. And so, it’s really up to him which identity he wants to follow.

      That his parents were divorced soon after his birth, might shed some light on which school of thought he learned better! 😉

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