Egypt star faces ban for acting with Israeli

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CAIRO: A rising Egyptian film star who plays the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein in a BBC drama faces a possible ban on performing in Egypt for acting with an Israeli in the film.

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 criticizes US foreign policy, according to the Egyptian Mail.

“The position of the union is clear in its rejection of normalization [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.

Zaki said the union was willing to support him financially or otherwise should he quit.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel, but relations with the Jewish state remain unpopular.

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