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Great Characters Wiki

Ali Ibn el Kharish better known as Sherif Ali is the deuteragonist of the 1962 epic film Lawrence of Arabia. He's a fictional Bedouin created for the film serving as Lawrence's partner in the war.

He was portrayed by Omar Sherif in his first English film.

Why He Rocks

  1. Omar Sherif is at the absolute top of his game as Lawrence's close partner in the war. It's even more impressive when you remember this was Sherif's first worldwide exposure to major American films.
  2. He gets a memorable introduction scene as he appears in the distance and slowly forms into a human being as he gets closer to the screen and shoots down a Bedouin guide just for drinking at his well.
  3. His character arc serves as an interesting foil to Lawrence's arc. While, Lawrence develops bloodlust as the film progresses, Sherif Ali actually becomes more pacifistic, polite and graceful.
  4. As a fictional character in the biographical film, Ali serves as a combination of numerous Arab leaders, particularly Sharif Nassir—Faisal's cousin—who led the Harith forces involved in the attack on Aqaba. The character was created largely because Lawrence did not serve with any one Arab leader (aside from Auda) throughout the majority of the war; most such leaders were amalgamated in Ali's character.
  5. He's also Lawrence's sidekick as well his simmering presence and even a loyal companion, a voice of reason during Lawrence's journey and more important, comes to stand for the impossible union with Arab culture Lawrence wants.
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