Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif passes away

Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif passed away due to a heart attack in Cairo. He was 83.

He was best known for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). These movies had soared him international stardom.

About Omar Sharif

  • Omar Sharif was born as Michel Shalhoub on 10 April 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt to a to a Melkite Greek Catholic family.
  • He had studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
  • He made his screen debut in the 1954 for an Egyptian film named Siraa Fil-Wadi (The Blazing Sun). Since then he had appeared in more than 70 films and multiple television series.
  • In 1962, he appeared in Lawrence of Arabia as Sherif Ali which was directed by David Lean. It was his overtime famous role which gave him international stardom.
  • Personal Life: In 1955, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Omar al-Sharif. The same year he married acclaimed Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. The couple divorced in 1974.
  • In 2015, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Awards: He had won three Golden Globe Awards (1962, 1963, 1965), César Award (French equivalent of the Oscar) in 2004 and was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • UNESCO’s Sergei Eisenstein Medal (2005) for his significant contributions to world film and cultural diversity.


26 African countries create TFTA: Cape Town to Cairo free-trade zone

African countries have signed a historic The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) that facilitates creation of Africa’s largest free-trade zone.

This free-trade zone will cover 26 countries in an area from southernmost tip of African continent i.e. Cape Town (South Africa) to Cairo (Egypt) in the north.

The pact was signed in Egypt will intent to ease the movement of goods across 26 member countries which represent more than half the continent’s GDP.

TFTA pact combines existing three trade blocs among the African nations viz

  • Southern African Development Community (SADC).
  • East African Community (EAC).
  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

It will remove trade barriers on most goods, making them cheaper and stimulating $ 1 trillion worth of economic activity across the region of more than 600 million people. Thus bolster intra-regional trade by creating a wider market that will increase investment flow and enhance regional infrastructure development.

The pact will then be officially unveiled at the upcoming 25th summit of the African Union in South Africa. After adopting it will need parliamentary ratification from all member-nations.

Map Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)


Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sentenced to death

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to death by Cairo court for his part in a mass jailbreak in 2011.

Now, country’s religious authorities will have to give their opinion before the sentence can be carried out.

Morsi who is leader Muslim Brotherhood Party was earlier sentenced to 20 years in jail for was on charges of espionage for his involvement in ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his time in power.

He was Egypt’s first freely elected president after the military rule under Hosni Mubarak came to end in 2011.

In July 2013, he was ousted by the military after days of mass street protests by Egyptians demanding his removal because of his divisive policies.

After he was overthrown, the military led government had suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood movement and thousands of its supporters were arrested including Mohammed Morsi.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement was at its peak during Mohammed Morsi stint as President and had resulted in deaths of hundreds of people and thousands were imprisoned illegally.