Egyptian actor Nour al-Sherif denied reports that he is supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his violent clampdown on peaceful protestors.
“It is an insult for me to be accused of supporting Bashar al-Assad, whose regime tortured my close friend, the Syrian caricaturist Ali Farzat,” Sherif told Al Arabiya.
Sherif added that Assad would have had support had he had a different political stance in the past.
“Had Assad fought Israel, he would have had all Arab people supporting him now, but he has never done such a thing since he came to power.”
According to Sherif, it is the delay in responding to people’s demands that turn protests into revolutions, and this is what happened in Egypt.
“The Egyptian people took to the streets to call for freedom and social justice, but the former regime did not react so it turned into a revolution,” he said.
However, Sherif added, the era of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was not only about drawbacks.
“Several achievements were made during Mubarak’s time, especially in infrastructure. This was clear in water, electricity, and infrastructure. However, it was supposed to be an era of comprehensive construction, but this did not happen.”
Sherif pointed out that repression was not created by Mubarak, but rather started with the era of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser, even though his rule had many strong points.
“The best thing about Abdel Nasser’s time was his defense of the poor and his call for social justice.”
“He gave Arabs dignity and he is still seen as a symbol of revolutionary change.”
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)