Date of Birth
1980, Glasgow, Scotland
Speaks fluent English, French and Arabic.
Is of Egyptian descent.
Was very reluctant to take on the role of Ziad Jarrah in United 93, but after meeting Paul Greengrass he agreed.
Divides his time between London, Paris and Cairo.
Both of his parents are doctors.
Graduated from Cambridge University.
Parents came to Britain in 1979.
When you say the word "Arab", I suppose the first thing that springs into anyone's mind is "terrorist", suicide bomber, big scary beard, oil sheik, violence - all negative associations. I had no interest in being a part of anything that hurts me as a person when I walk down the street, hurts my family, people I know. I have no interest fundamentally in being part of promoting a stereotype. I believe that takes people backwards and not forwards
My memory is of the place I played. I remember just playing and playing and playing, going out on my bicycle, running away from wasps in the back garden. My first girlfriend was there, my next-door neighbor, a beautiful brunette called Clare. Then we moved to London. On his childhood in Scotland.
It put me in all the tight spots with my identity: as an Arab, a Muslim, and an actor with my background. I had to walk a tightrope and find out where my balance was.
I'm proudly British and proudly a Londoner - but I'm also proudly Egyptian and proudly from Cairo.
In my life, I've been acutely conscious of how the Arab world is represented.
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