Omar grew up in an Egypt that choked people’s freedom socially, politically and religiously, making it very strict towards those who don’t fit into the category of “normal”. Coming from a famous family, he was able to work as a model and actor, and do whatever he wanted professionally, yet he felt invisible.
This is something that I kept hidden because this is something that didn’t fit into the Egypt that I knew; the Egypt that scoff at human rights and persecuted people who are different. Being Gay in Egypt means living in constant fear.”
Sharif shares some real cases of human rights abuses towards gay men that turned out to be fake in his country, but that installed fear and hate. Feeling isolated, he found comfort in Hollywood movies and series that showed there was a gay community out there.
It was a formative and fragile time for the country and I knew that it was time that I have to finally settle my internal struggle and add my voice to those calling for an open, tolerant and inclusive Egypt.”
He also talks about the responsibility that comes from being a public figure, having a voice and using it for good. Omar describes the negative reactions of people towards his letter and how later he received positive comments that motivated him to keep fighting. He understood that his actions were changing realities for good, around the world.
Even though the situation has improved in some places, in Egypt it has regressed and silence continues to be the safest option, but Omar encourages the audience to make a change by inspiring others with their story, just as he did it.
Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín