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Wehbe in 2016
Haifa Mohammed Wehbe
هيفاء محمد وهبي
March 10, 1972
Ahmed Abou Hashima
(m. 2009; div. 2012)
Haifa Wehbe (Arabic: هيفاء وهبي Hayfāʼ Wahbī) is a Lebanese singer and actress. She has released seven studio albums, and made her acting debut in the 2008 Pepsi-produced film Sea of Stars. In 2006, Wehbe was on People Magazine's 50 most beautiful people list.
Life and career
Wehbe won the title of Miss South Lebanon at the age of sixteen, and was a runner-up at the Miss Lebanon competition, which was revoked after it was discovered that she was ineligible because she had been married and had a child.
2004–2007: Baddi Aech and television career
Wehbe released her second studio album Baddi Aech (Arabic: بدي عيش, English: "I Want to Live") in early 2005, following the success of lead single "Ya Hayat Albi." Released after the assassination of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri, the title single of the album is about "freedom, considered to be among the most basic of human rights". Follow-up single "Aana Haifa" (Arabic: أنا هيفاء, English: "I Am Haifa") became her biggest hit to date. In Summer 2005, she participated as a guest in Al Wadi, a local version of The Farm.
In 2006, she released "Bus al-Wawa" (Arabic: بوس الواوا, English: "Kiss the Booboo"), the song was later used in a Pepsi advertisement. It was also voted Song of the Year in 2006 by Radio Scope and Sawt Al Musika.
2008–2009: Film career beginnings and Habibi Aana
On July 4, 2008, Wehbe released her third studio album Habibi Aana (Arabic: حبيبي أنا, English: "My Love") which contains 15 songs including the lead single "Moush Adra Estana".
2010–2012: Babe Haifa, and Malikat Jamal Al Kawn
In September 2011 Al Bawaba reported that Wehbe was threatening to leave her label Rotana "for neglecting her and not paying any attention to her work".
2013–present: Your Face Sounds Familiar, Breathing You In, and Mariam
During summer 2013, Webhe released her new song "Ghala Ghala".
In 2018, she starred in an Egyptian drama Lanaat Karma.
In September 2018, Haifa released her seventh studio album, Hawwa. The album features 15 songs, and debuted at No. 1 on iTunes charts. The album was produced independently by Wehbe herself, without a record label. In 2020, she accused her ex-business manager, Mohamed al-Waziry, of stealing $4m from her bank account, including also her fees from producers and party organizers.
In the 1990s, Wehbe married her cousin Nasr Fayyad when she was 18 and traveled with him to Nigeria where he worked. During her pregnancy, she returned to Lebanon and separated from Fayyad, with whom she had one daughter, Zeinab.
On June 25, 2007, Wehbe survived an accident while filming a music video for the song "Hasa Ma Bena" in Lebanon. In the video, a single engine airplane was to chase Wehbe as she drove a car. However, the airplane inadvertently hit the car, taking off the front windshield of the convertible she was driving. Despite the severity of the accident, Wehbe suffered only minor cuts and bruises.
Wehbe married Egyptian businessman Ahmed Abou Hashima on April 24, 2009 in Beirut. Among the guests at the wedding party were singer Anastacia, Carmen Electra, Sean Combs, Googoosh, Nawal Al Zoghbi, Najwa Karam, Ragheb Alama, and Sherine.
Criticism and controversy
Allegations of racism
In 2009, the lyrics "Where is my teddy bear and the Nubian monkey?" in Wehbe's song "Baba Fein" (from her unreleased 2010 kids' album) seemed to refer to Nubians as "monkeys". Nubians in Egypt accused the artist of racism and singing a song that fueled racism and discrimination against them.
Another incident occurred after the 2009 Egypt–Algeria World Cup dispute, adding to the diplomatic tension between the two countries. Wehbe went on to make statements that she would not be performing in Algeria anytime soon, because Algerians "...wouldn't understand her music". Algeria's cultural minister responded by stating that Wehbe would be banned from performing in Algeria for insulting Algeria and the Algerian people regardless of whether she apologizes.
Birth date claims
Wehbe claimed once that she was born in 1976, a date repeated by numerous sources. At one point, she mentioned that she is three years younger than her ex-husband Ahmed Abou Hashima, who was born in 1975. Her half-sister Rola Yamout posted a leaked document indicating that she was born in 1972.
In November 2014, Wehbe caused controversy and was later heavily criticized, when she wore a revealing dress during a live episode of Arab Star Academy. She later apologized and blamed the stage lighting.
During the 2006 Israel–Lebanon War, she left her home, in Verdun, Beirut and moved to Egypt for the duration of the conflict. In a concert in the Lebanese town of Jounieh, Wehbe congratulated Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for his stand against Israel during the war.
Wehbe also refused to perform at any concert during the 34 days of the war, including fundraisers, saying that there were more ways than one to show support for Lebanon.
Some in the more conservative Arab countries deem her revealing outfits as scandalous. One Bahraini member of parliament called her a sexual singer who spoke with her body, not her voice. Wehbe said she was aware of the efforts to ban her from performing at the concert but had chosen to ignore their attempts to silence her.
In April 2008, the Islamist-dominated parliament of Bahrain passed a motion urging the government to ban Haifa Wehbe's show in the country. As a result of the motion, Wehbe performed in Bahrain with more modest dress, wearing a long green gown with a low V-neckline during the performance.
- Houwa Al Zaman (2002)
- Baddi Aech (2005)
- Farashet El Wadi (2006)
- Habibi Ana (2008)
- Baby Haifa (2010)
- Malikat Jamal Al Kawn (2012)
- Hawwa (2018)
Singles and music videos
|Year||Title||Music Video Director||Production|
|2002||Agoul Ahwak||Selim Al-Turk||Rotana|
|2002||Wahdi||Sameh Abdel Aziz||Dream TV|
|2003||Elhakni||Leila Bazzi & Fouad Suleiman||Beirut Marathon Association|
|2003||Ma Sar||Sameh Abdel Aziz||Rotana|
|2004||Ya Hayat Qalbi||Selim Al-Turk||Rotana|
|2005||Baddi Aech||Said Al-Marouk||Rotana|
|2005||La Ma Khilset||Toni Kahwaji||LBCI|
|2005||Teji Ezzai||Hadi Al-Bajuri||Mazzika|
|2005||Aana Haifa||Hadi Al-Bajuri||Melody TV|
|2006||Bus al-Wawa||Emile Slailati||Melody|
|2007||Moush Adra Estana||Yahia Saadeh||Mazzika|
|2008||Matloch Li Had||Leila Kaanan||Mazzika|
|2008||Hassa Mabina Haga||Yahia Saadeh||Mazzika|
|2009||Baba Fin & Lama Al-Shams Trouah||Leila Kaanan||Rotana|
|2010||80 Million Ehsas||Mohammed Sami||Melody|
|2010||Enta Tani||Mohammed Sami||Melody|
|2010||Yama Lyali||Yahia Saadeh||Melody|
|2011||Bokra Bfarjik||Gianni Magnoni||Rotana|
|2012||Malikat Jamal Al Kawn||Rotana|
|2013||Ezzay Ansak||Angy Jammal||Rotana|
|2014||Breathing You In||Tarik Freitekh||VEVO|
- Sea of Stars (2008)
- Dokkan Shehata (2011)
- Halawet Rouh (2014)
- Khair and Baraka (2017)
- Renegades of Europe (2020)
- Kalam Ala Warak (2014)
- Mawlid wa Sahibuh Ghayb (2015)
- Maryam (2015)
- Al Herbaya (2017)
- Lanaat Karma (2018)
- Haifa Wehbe. lebanonatlas.com
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- Harrison, Frances (30 April 2008). "Lebanese singer causes Gulf storm". BBC.
- "bio". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009.
- Braude, Joseph. Radar.com. Rock the Casbah
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- تسرق الأضواء من هيفاء.. وتجدد لروتانا[dead link] MBC
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- "Haifa Wehbé dévoile le clip d'une nouvelle chanson avec Casper Smart". BelleBeirut. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Karma's Spell? The Never Ending Problems of Haifa Wehbe's New Series". Al Bawaba. February 27, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- . albawaba.com
- . lebanon24.com
- "Haifa Wehbe denies marriage to former business manager accused of stealing $4 mn". Egypt Independent. May 26, 2020.
- "خبرني: هيفا تتحدث عن ابنتها زينب". khaberni.com
- "صورة زينب فياض ابنة هيفاء وهبي برفقة ابنتيها تثير الجدل: هل تم طلاقها؟". layalina.com (in Arabic). December 31, 2019.
- Haifa Wehbe in Serious Car Accident. MSN
- Arab pop star Haifa Wehbe gets married Archived October 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. AFP via kcrg.com (April 24, 2009)
- "كيف كان حفل زفاف هيفاء وهبي وابو هشيمة؟ إليكم التفاصيل". yemen-press.com (in Arabic). April 29, 2009.
- "Haifa Wehbe separates from her husband". BelleBeirut.com. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- The Women of Hezbollah
- Shenker, Jack (November 17, 2009). "Nubian fury at 'monkey' lyric of Arab pop star Haifa Wehbe". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Singer Haifa Wehbe offends with 'Nubian monkeys' lyric". The Daily Telegraph. London. November 18, 2009.
- Shenker, Jack (November 21, 2009). "Lebanese diva's lyrics hit sour note". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- لخضر بن تركي للشروق :مهرجانات الجزائر مستمرة بدونكم.. وهيفاء وهبي لن ترى الجزائر حتى إن تابت. echoroukonline.com (December 17, 2009)
- "هيفاء وهبي تكشف عمرها الحقيقي لأول مرة". YouTube (in Arabic). Retrieved November 2, 2019.
- "Watch Haifa Wehbe celebrate her 40th birthday in larger-than-life style!". Albawaba. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "Haifa Wehbe Interview from 1992 Resurfaces (Video)". Sada El-Balad English. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "هيفاء وهبى: أنا أصغر من أبو هشيمة بـ3 سنوات". youm7.com (in Arabic). May 5, 2009.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Rola Yamout reveals "Grandma" Haifa Wehbe's REAL age!". Al Bawaba.
- "#BBCtrending: The dress that shocked the Arab world". BBC. November 19, 2014.
- "Hezbollah chief wins unlikely fan in pop diva". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008.
- Haifa Wehbe. Askmen.com.
- "Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe promotes Ramadan TV show with seductive photo". Al Arabiya. May 8, 2017.
- Arab youth revel in pop revolution by Sebastian Usher, May 21, 2007, BBC
- Head of Egypt's censorship board resigns after dispute over showing bombshell's steamy film. Associated Press
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