Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1271, (19-25 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Times to remember

The legendary Italian actress Claudia Cardinale paid tribute to the late Egyptian actor Omar Sharif as she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 37th Cairo International Film Festival, writes Nevine El-Aref

Cardinale
Cardinale
Al-Ahram Weekly

“Egypt is a peaceful country and it will rise again. We must fight to have all the people come on holidays to this beautiful country I adore,” Claudia Cardinale told reporters at a press conference held in the course of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which granted her the Faten Hamama Excellence Award for her lifetime achievement. “Art and creativity can beat the culture of hate and death espoused by terrorism,” she added.

She also expressed her appreciation for being granted an honorary award in the name of the late Egyptian actress Faten Hamama at the CIFF opening celebration and said that receiving this award in the presence of Tarek Al-Sharif, Hamama and Omar Sharif’s son, makes her feel that all the three are there to grant it.

Cardinale described Sharif as a “close friend” and “a fantastic person” who always used to smile. She added that she did not have the chance to bid him farewell before he died although she tried to contact him while he was sick, but to no avail. She expressed her happiness to return to Egypt, which she visited many times before, whether alone or together with Sharif.

“I used to come to Egypt with Omar who would take me on tours over the Nile, in downtown Cairo and Tahrir Square,” she remembered. “We used to dance together to some local Arabic music.”

Born in Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia to a French mother and an Italian father from Sicilia, Cardinale made her break following winning an Italian Consulate beauty pageant in Tunisia in 1957, when she starred opposite Sharif in the 1958 movie Goha. She was only 17, and it was her father who convinced her to start an acting career after her initial refusal made a press sensation in Tunisia. She has since acted in over 150 movies, working with some of the world’s greatest actors and directors. She names The Leopard and 8 1/2, by Visconti and Fellini, respectively, as her most important films in her career.

Cardinale was given a special tour of Egypt’s archaeological including the Giza Plateau, where she was given the Ministry of Tourism Award.

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