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The Mystique of Haifa Wehbe

posted on: Mar 3, 2010

She’s known as “The Lebanese Marilyn Monroe” and is often compared to US pop singer Britney Spears. Since her musical debut in 2002, Lebanese pop sensation Haifa Wehbe has acquired an unprecedented amount of fame—suggesting there is just something that distinguishes this beautiful entertainer from the rest. But what is it?

Palestinian American Lillian Kishek says “People are intrigued by Haifa because she has tested the limits of the Arab world. Not only does she have exotic beauty and clear seductiveness, but she is also an artist that isn’t afraid to take risks—many times giving traditional Arabic music more of a Western flair.”

Local Arabic vocalist Emad Batayeh agrees. He says Haifa has changed the musical landscape in the Middle East, “Before Haifa, a performer had to prove their talent with their voice. Haifa represents a whole different kind of entertainer in the Arab world. She has opened doors for different kinds of music and for other female entertainers.”

Lebanese American Zena Fares thinks she signifies signs of progression in the Middle East when it comes to gender equality and female self-assurance “I really like that Haifa exemplifies a strong, confident female woman. She is bold enough to present a level of sex appeal the region has never seen before.”

On the other hand, Lebanese American Ali Atoui can’t put his finger on what it is exactly that excites people about Haifa, “I think it’s a combination of things, perhaps her songs, her style, her beauty, and her lighthearted demeanor. I really don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s made her one of the most successful women in the Middle East.”

This Friday, Haifa will be kicking off her 2010 US tour in Dearborn at Greenfield Manor, before continuing on to New Jersey, Houston, and Las Vegas. Stars on Tour, the event’s production company, confirms Haifa has arrived to the Dearborn area and will be spending the next couple of days visiting notable local restaurants and establishments.

The starlet was originally scheduled to perform alongside fellow Lebanese pop singer Fares Karem, but last minute, Karem was forced to cancel due to his inability to secure a visa in time. Nina Bazzy, partner of Stars on Tour, is pleased with the outcome of ticket sales despite Karem’s abrupt drop from the program.

“We have sold close to 900 tickets and will hopefully sell out! I think people are excited because Haifa hasn’t been in the US since 2004 and since that time, she’s gained so much popularity and has released countless hit singles” says Bazzy.

Indeed, some of Haifa’s listeners will say it’s her hot number one singles that are the draw in, while others will admit it’s her spell binding good looks, yet there will always remain an abundance of fans who are mesmerized by the songstress with no clear explanation—thereby getting lost in the mystique that is Haifa Wehbe.

Ameera David
Arab Detroit