January 31, 2011 / 9:00 AM / 9 years ago

Egyptian icon Omar Sharif says time Mubarak went

PARIS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Egyptian film legend Omar Sharif on Monday joined the calls for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, saying he had failed to improve the standard of living for ordinary people and that 30 years in power was enough.

The 78-year old from Alexandria is best known for his role as Arab reformer and revolutionary Sherif Ali in the 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia.

“The president should have resigned,” Sharif told France Inter radio from his home in Cairo. “Given that the entire Egyptian people don’t want him and he’s been in power for 30 years that’s enough.”

Protesters were camped out in central Cairo on Monday and vowed to stay until they had toppled Mubarak, whose fate appeared to hang on the military as pressure mounted from the street and abroad.

“The president hasn’t improved the standard of living of Egyptians. There are some people that are very rich — maybe 1 percent — and the rest are all poor trying to find food,” Sharif said.

He added that he was worried about the impact of the Islamist opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood, which for decades has been suppressed by the authorities.

“I don’t want the Muslim brotherhood,” Sharif said. “They were trapped and now are starting to come out. They have 20 percent of the population and it’s frightening for me.” (Reporting by John Irish; editing by Jon Boyle)

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