Can't believe there haven't been more posts about this.
I am really really sad about this. He was Egypt's only international star and a really interesting man who was never tied down by labels or barriers.
His ex wife also died earlier this year and with them the golden age of Egyptian cinema, which was really great at its peak, is completely gone.
I am sad for him and his family, because it is clear that his choices didn't always make him happy and his life was a very complicated one, but I am also mourning for Egypt as the multicultural, tolerant, creative and incredibly glamorous place that it once was.
I also recommend you check out his early films in Arabic, he was even better looking in black and white.
I've never been to Egypt but decades ago I read Claudia Roden's Middle Eastern Food from cover to cover, over and over again, and got a very clear sense of just such a society as you mention. Her family was Jewish and had to leave Egypt in the time of Nasser.
Terribly sad that those tolerant multicultural days seem to be gone, for now anyway.
On a more trivial note, I'm fascinated to see from Wikipedia that Omar Sharif was a devoted fan of Hull City FC and got an honorary degree from the University of Hull. Not a city noted for its glamour and exoticism! Perhaps he liked the contrast.