Lack of Arabic actors (in Hollywood) of Neeson's statute might also have been a problem. I really can't name an A-list Arabic actor. Hell, the only Arabic actor I can name at all is Alex Siddig. I'd suspect there are
plenty of others, but I have no idea who they are.
Twenty or thirty years ago, of course, there would have been only one rational choice: Omar Sharif. God, that would have been sweet.