Cover Image: A Tale of Two Omars

A Tale of Two Omars

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Member Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed this open account of his still young life.
I look forward to what this man will bring to the future.
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I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, it felt as if the author was spending a lot of time telling his experiences without showing them. I felt like I was reading a particularly long transcript of someone's memories with some visual modifiers thrown in as necessary to make it work. The relationship between Omar and his grandfather is undeniably written with a tenderness that is felt through the pages, and for this, I have a soft spot for the memoir.
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This open hearted book is a revelation. Omar Sharif Jr. opens the door to his life: the privilege and joy that comes from being the handsome grandson of one of the world’s most famous (& handsome) actors and also the heartbreak of coming out as gay in largely homophobic Egypt. Omar Jr is a courageous, articulate, inspiring man and writer. I recommend this book with great enthusiasm.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. Indeed it is a "Tale of Two Omars". A person who grew up in a well known and very wealthy family. And. of course, realizing the differnce of being  a Jewish gay man with his roots in Egypt. Some chapters show his intense struggles to cope with life and find his way to accept who he is and what he wants to achieve. Personally and professionally. The most difficult time of his life arises when he comes out in The Advocate. It is a well written book I highly recommend reading
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This is an important read, and one I highly recommend.

Omar Sharif Jr. laid himself completely bare in this memoir, opening up entirely. He shares details of his upbringing, his relationship with his parents, the most difficult times in his life, and of his advocacy work for LGBTQ rights. While it's obvious from the book that Omar comes from enormous wealth, and it can be quite overstated at times with talk of Hollywood, private nannies, and the world's most exclusive restaurants, I still felt I could relate to his story in a more down to earth manner.

His prose is vividly descriptive, taking the reader to wherever he is at the particular moments he discusses in the book. He does so with such accuracy at times that I feel as though I could be seated next to him, even in the most tragic of situations. While it might seem from the outside that he lives a life of luxury with access to all the things in the world, it seems it couldn't be further from the truth. I believe what he seeks most, is acceptance.

I found parts of the book difficult to read for a few reasons. Mostly because I couldn't imagine what it was like for Omar to go through what he did, which you'll read about in the book. I was shocked at some points, my heart dropping to the pit of my stomach. But despite it all, he seemed to come out stronger, at least on the outside.

I appreciated reading about the work Omar is doing when it comes to advocating for the rights of others, despite not initially being accepted by the LGBTQ community. He was facing death threats from Egypt then told by the queer and activist communities, “He’s just privileged, what could he know about struggle or sacrifice?” Reading this memoir, I was able to see that despite his privilege, he has suffered just as much as anyone who identifies as LGBTQ and struggles to come out.

Despite all of this, I believe he has done what he can for LGBTQ rights in Egypt, and is still fighting for his own freedom and the freedom of others. This memoir truly broke my heart, but also inspired me greatly. It's my hope that one day things will change in countries where people are forced to hide in the closet, where they seek nothing but freedom and the right to be who they are.
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