Rumours are circulating that Hollywood film actor Omar Sharif, star of “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia,” has taken up studying the Kabbalah and converted to Judaism. Other news reports deny this.
The Egyptian newspaper Albawaba Entertainment reported on July 9th that Omar Sharif "has converted from Islam to the Jewish mystic Kabbalah sect." Yesterday, in the Jewish American newspaper, The Algemeiner, Omar Sharif’s spokeswoman, Inas Bak is reported as denying Sharif's switch of religions and telling Al-Arabiya news channel that she could not understand where the rumours were coming from.
Sharif, originally known as Michel Shalhoub, came from a Roman-Catholic family of Lebanese/Syrian descent in Egypt. Sharif converted to Islam before his marriage to Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. Al-Arabia reports that "Superstar Omar Sharif denies converting to Judaism" and has "expressed his resentment at recent rumors that he converted to Judaism" which he claims are "absolutely groundless."
One incident 80-year-old Sharif cannot deny, since it was captured on video, is the fact that he slapped a woman at the 2011 Qatar film festival held in Doha.