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Haifa Wehbe

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Haifa Wehbe
هيفاء وهبي
Haifa Wehbe.jpg
Background information
Born (1976-03-10) 10 March 1976 (age 41)
Mahrouna, Lebanon
Genres Arabic pop, world
Occupation(s) Singer, actress

Haifa Wehbe (Arabic: هيفا وهبي or هيفاء وهبي‎‎  Lebanese pronunciation: [ˈhaifa ˈwehbe]; born 10 March 1976) is a Lebanese singer and actress. She has released five 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.[1]

Life and career

Early life

Wehbe was born to Lebanese father Nadim Antar and an Egyptian mother from Cairo, to a Muslim family.[2] Wehbe won the title of Miss South Lebanon at the age of sixteen[3][4] and was a runner-up at the Miss Lebanon competition,[5] which was revoked after it was discovered that she was ineligible because she had been married and had a child.[6]


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".[7] Follow-up single "Aana Haifa" (Arabic: أنا هيفاء, English: "I Am Haifa") became her biggest hit to date. In 2006 she released "Bus al-Wawa" (Arabic: بوس الواوا, English: "Kiss the Booboo"), the song was later used in a Pepsi advertisement. The song was also voted Song of the Year in 2006 by Radio Scope and Sawt Al Musika.[8]

2008–2009: Film career beginnings and Habibi Aana

Wehbe starred in the Pepsi-produced film Sea of Stars released in early 2008, along with Carole Samaha, Ahmad el Sherif, Wael Kfoury, Brigitte Yaghi, and Ruwaida al-Mahrooqi[9]

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

Wehbe released a children's album titled Babe Haifa in March 2010 under Rotana Records.[10]

In April 2010, Wehbe was featured on French DJ David Vendetta's album Vendetta on the song Yama Layali.[11]

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".[12]

"Malikat Jamal Al Kawn" (MJK; English: "Miss Universe") was released on May 8, 2012.

2013–present: Your Face Sounds Familiar, Breathing You In, and Mariam

During summer 2013, Haifa released her new song "Ghala Ghala".[citation needed]

In 2014, she signed with Tarik Freitekh's label and Wehbe shot her new song 'Farhana' on June 21, 2014 in Your Face Sounds Familiar 2014 (Arabic translation: شكلك مش غريب).[citation needed]

In August 2014, she announced that she would be releasing a new song titled "Breathing You In" along with a video clip featuring Casper Smart. A 34-second teaser of this video was released on YouTube.[13]

Personal life

In the 1990s, Wehbe married her cousin Nasr Fayyad when she was 18 and traveled with him to Nigeria where he worked.[14] During her pregnancy, she returned to Lebanon and separated from Fayyad.

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.[15] 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.[10] Among the guests at the wedding party were singer Anastacia,[16] Kim Kardashian,[17] Sean Combs, Googoosh, Nawal Al Zoghbi, Najwa Karam, Ragheb Alama, and Sherine.[10]

It was announced that Wehbe and Ahmed Abou Hashima had split in November 2012.[18]

Criticism and controversy

Allegations of racism

In 2009, lyrics "Where is my teddy bear and the Nubian monkey?" in one of Wehbe songs Baba Fein (from her unreleased 2010 kids album) seemed to refer to Nubians as "monkeys".[19][20] Nubians in Egypt accused the artist of racism and singing a song that fueled racism and discrimination against them.[21] In 2010 a lawsuit filed against Wehbe was dropped.[citation needed]


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.[22]

Political views

During the 2006 Israel–Lebanon War, she left her home, in Verdun, Beirut and moved to Egypt for the duration of the conflict.[7] In a concert in the Lebanese town of Jounieh, Wehbe congratulated Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for his stand against Israel during the war.[23]

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.[23]


Wehbe was ranked 8th in the 2006 Edition of the Top 99 Most Desirable Women by the website[24]

Some in the more conservative Arab countries deem her revealing outfits 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.

"I am a performer and not a politician," Haifa said. "I know my fans want me I am there for them. I am not concerned with the other issues."[25]

In April 2008, the Islamist-dominated parliament of Bahrain passed a motion urging the government to ban Haifa Wehbe's show in the country.[5] 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.[5]


Studio albums


  • "El Layli"
  • "El Tabeea"
  • "Wahashne"
  • "Bint Al Waddi"
  • "Ana Andi Baghbaghan"
  • "Sanarra"
  • "Sway"
  • "Ana Adrra Aich"
  • "Eda Eda"
  • "Mama"
  • "Enta Tanni"
  • "80 Million Ahsass "
  • "Salama"
  • "Beirut"
  • "Yama Layali" (Remix Version)
  • "Yama Layali"
  • "Ya Magnon"
  • "Samanne" (Singles Version)
  • "Farhana" (Your Face Sounds Familiar 2014)




  • 2002: The "Golden Lion" Award in Egypt.[8]
  • 2004: Best Young Female Arab singer in Egypt.[27]
  • 2005: The Oscar for "ninashnash" for her song Baddi Eesh from her second album.[8]
  • 2005: The "Murex d'Or" award with the title "Best Artist of the Year".[8]
  • 2006: The "Murex d'Or" award with the title "Best Artist of the Year".[8]
  • 2009: The "Murex d'Or" award with title "Most Popular Lebanese Singer"[28]
  • 2010: The "Murex d'Or" award with the title "Best singer actress"
  • 2010: The "ART" Award for her role in her first Egyptian Film "Dokkan Shehata"
  • 2011: World's Most Desirable Woman List No. 49 Rank[29]
  • 2011: Most beautiful Arabian model cum actress list Ranked #2[29]
  • 2011: Murex d'Or best song award, for "Yama Layaly."[30]


  1. ^ Haifa Wehbe.
  2. ^ Haifa Wehbe Biography.
  3. ^ "هيفاء وهبي تثير زوبعة في الخليج". BBC News. May 1, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Lebanese Pop Star Haifa Wehbe Sides With Hezbollah". Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Harrison, Frances (2008-04-30). Lebanese singer causes Gulf storm. BBC.
  6. ^ "bio". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Braude, Joseph. Rock the Casbah
  8. ^ a b c d e "". Haifa Wehbe. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Tune into talent". Khaleej Times. December 29, 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c تسرق الأضواء من هيفاء.. وتجدد لروتانا MBC
  11. ^ "Vendetta album". Fr.7digital. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Haifa Wahbi threatens to leave 'Rotana'". Al Bawaba. September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Haifa Wehbé dévoile le clip d’une nouvelle chanson avec Casper Smart". BelleBeirut. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ "خبرني: هيفا تتحدث عن ابنتها زينب".
  15. ^ Haifa Wehbe in Serious Car Accident.
  16. ^ Arab pop star Haifa Wehbe gets married. AFP via (April 24, 2009)
  17. ^ "Kim Kardashian Arrives in Beirut". BuzzyWorth. Los Angeles. April 23, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Haifa Wehbe separates from her husband". Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  19. ^ Shenker, Jack (November 17, 2009). "Nubian fury at 'monkey' lyric of Arab pop star Haifa Wehbe". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Singer Haifa Wehbe offends with 'Nubian monkeys' lyric". The Daily Telegraph. London. November 18, 2009. 
  21. ^ Shenker, Jack (November 21, 2009). "Lebanese diva's lyrics hit sour note". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  22. ^ لخضر بن تركي للشروق :مهرجانات الجزائر مستمرة بدونكم.. وهيفاء وهبي لن ترى الجزائر حتى إن تابت. (December 17, 2009)
  23. ^ a b "Hezbollah chief wins unlikely fan in pop diva". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. 
  24. ^ Haifa Wehbe.
  25. ^ "Haifa Covers Up". LB: May 1, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  26. ^ Hyde, Maggie (April 19, 2014) Head of Egypt's censorship board resigns after dispute over showing bombshell's steamy film. Associated Press
  27. ^ "middle east news information::Haifa Wahbi number one Young Female Arab Singer". Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  28. ^ "". June 25, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Asian Models Faces Haifa Wehbe Is The Only Arabian Model, Singer Cum Dancer Has Seen In The Italian TV channel Rai Uno. Retrieved on December 22, 2012.
  30. ^ "Arab stars receive top honors at Murex d’Or Awards". Daily Star. Jounieh. June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011. Arab pop superstar Haifa Wehbe won best Arabic song for 'Yama Layaly.' 

Further reading

External links