Egypt’s well-known Archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass had an unparalleled lifelong bond with his native Omar Al-Sharif, ranked among the world’s top contact bridge players.
“The hardest thing in life is eternal separation,” said Hawass in the memory of his late friend’s death. “It is difficult to consign your dear friend to his grave.”
“Omar Al-Sharif’s absence leaves me with enormous sadness; I lost my friend, the man I knew so closely for a long time. He told me everything that was going on in his mind.”
From victories and fame moments to secretive stories, Hawass and Al-Sharif shared almost everything.
“Through him, I learned stories stranger than fiction .. Its heroes were famous artists, politicians and writers.”
Hawass recounted on situations that brought him together with Al-Sharif when he suffered from Alzheimer.
Once day, as we were sitting at dinner, Al-Sharif said there was a friend in Egypt whom he loved and wanted to see. I asked him about the name of that person. He said, “I do not remember his name, but he works in the dirt and stones.” I answered: His name is Zahi Hawass. Then, he affirmed: “that’s him.”
One other incidence that shows how Al-Sharif was spiritually attached to Hawass, was when Artist Yousra, their common friend, invited both over dinner. Yet, Al-Sharif refused to accompany the man who Yousra sent to pick him.
“The envoy dialed out to Yousra, who told him to tell Al-Sharif that he is Zahi Hawass. Then, Al-Sharif stood up to the man’s surprise and escorted him.”
“Two days before his death, I went to visit Al-Sharif at the hospital with his son Tarek,” Hawass said.
Hawass supported Tarek’s refusal to inform the media of his funeral date to avoid chaos that occurred amidst his mother Faten Hamama’s farewell.
“Omar Al-Sharif was a patriotic Egyptian who devotedly loved his country. His memory will stick forever in our memories as a multi-talented international star,” Hawass concluded.