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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Egyptian actor faces ban for 'accidentally' performing with Israeli

Egyptian film star Amr Waked faces a ban on performing in his home country because he is going to be in a BBC drama about Saddam Hussein alongside an Israeli actor.

Hat Tip: The Sudanese Thinker
Actor Amr Waked, now shooting in Tunisia, ran into trouble when his union learned that Israeli actor Yigal Naor is playing the role of the ousted and executed dictator in the drama about his life.

Waked, who appeared alongside Hollywood star George Clooney in the 2005 blockbuster Syriana, defended his position, telling several Egyptian papers he did not know an Israeli was involved until after he signed the contract.

He also said the film was pro-Arab and criticises US foreign policy, according to the Egyptian Mail.

"The position of the union is clear in its rejection of normalisation (with Israel) and requires that members abide by this position," Ashraf Zaki, the head of the union, told AFP.

"Amr Waked is playing the role of the husband of Saddam's daughter opposite an Israeli who plays Saddam... Amr will be facing an investigation as soon as he returns (from filming)," Zaki said.

Waked, who could face expulsion from the union which would prevent him from acting in Egypt, expressed concern that withdrawing from the production now would be in breach of his contract.
Israel and Egypt signed a 'peace treaty' in 1979 on the basis of which 'our friends the Egyptians' are the third largest recipient of US foreign aid.

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