The head of Egypt's
Actors Guild, Ashraf Zaki, has decided to launch an inquiry against Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy for "normalization with Israel"
over his role in Doug Liman's American film "Fair Game" alongside Israeli actress Liraz Charhi.
Nabawy was criticized by Egyptian officials after being photographed embracing Charhi on the red carper during the Cannes International Film Festival, where the movie has its world premiere and took part in the official competition.
The different professional associations in Egypt forbid any type of normalization with the Jewish state and strongly condemn any association member who challenges this demand.
Charhi and Nabawy at Cannes (Photo: Getty Images Bank)
Zaki told a London-based website that he would meet with Nabawy this week and inquire whether he knew in advance that Charhi had an Israeli citizenship. If Nabawy is found guilty, he is expected to be suspended from the association for a long period of time.
Arab websites that reported the affair noted that Charhi was "an Israeli actress of American descent, who served in the army for two years before turning to acting and appearing in a number of American films."
Zaki told the Reuters news agency that he would bring the matter to the Actors Guild council in the coming days. "I asked to meet with Nabawy. After we meet, I will write a memo to the council so it can make a decision."
He refused to elaborate on the punishment Nabawy may face if he is found guilty.
The Israeli actress involved in the affair told Ynet on Tuesday that "the picture of the two of us did not change anything. Nabawy already knew that he would pay the price for our cooperation on the screen.
"Even before he was cast for the role, there was another Egyptian actor who withdrew from the production after receiving threats that he would be dismissed from the association," Charhi added.
"At this stage I was certain that they would let me go. But then Nabawy arrived, a professional actor who came to work. When we met during rehearsal I noticed that he was a bit indrawn, and I waited a while before I approached him.
"I knew that it was all very sensitive, so I was very gentle. But during the filming period we became friends. We played a brother and sister, and it didn't seem strange to either of us.
"When they arranged the seats for the screening, they put us together and we both didn't mind. He didn't say anything when we stood together for the photo shoot. I was sure that they would be angry at him, but I didn't believe that they would launch a suspension procedure against him. I'm shocked.
"We saw this film as work, not politics, and hoped that seeing us getting along would convey some kind of message. But I never imagined that the voices against him would be so hostile," she concluded.
Eran Bar-On contributed to this report