PROFILE
Name:
Haifa Wehbe
Birth Date:
March 10, 1976
Birth Place:
Mahrouna, Lebanon
Nationality:
Lebanese
Profession:
Singer, Actress
BIOGRAPHY
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Haifa Wehbe_210114
Houwa El-Zaman

Background:

Lebanese singer and actress Haifa Wehbe came to prominence in the Arab world as runner up in Miss Lebanon in the early 1990s. She went on to gain success as a singer beginning with the release of her debut album “Houwa El-Zaman” in 2002, which was a commercial hit. It was followed with “Baddi Eesh” in 2005, “Habibi Ana” in 2008 and “MJK” in 2012. She also had a children's album called “Baby Haifa” (2010). Some of popular singles released by Wehbe include “Akoul Ahwak,” “Ya Hayat Albi,”  “Baddi Eesh,” “Ragab,” “Fakerni” and “Ghala Ghala.” On the acting front, Wehbe has appeared on the Pepsi-produced film  “Sea of Stars” (2008) and the high-grossing Egyptian drama film “Dokkan Shehata” (2009), from which she won The “ART” Award. Wehbe was named one of People Magazine's “50 Most Beautiful People in 2006. She won Murex d'Or for  Best Artist of the Year in 2005 and 2006, for Most Popular Lebanese Singer in 2009 and for Best Singer Actress in 2010. In 2011, Wehbe's song “Yama Layaly” won the Murex d'Or Award for Best Song.    

At age 18, Wehbe married  her cousin Nasr Fayyad and traveled with him to Nigeria where he worked. While pregnant, she returned to Lebanon and separated from Fayyad. Wehbe is a victim of parental alienation because she is not permitted to make any contact with her daughter Zainab Fayyad. In Lebanon,  it is usual that the father gets automatic full custody of the children. When she turned adult, Zainab continues to refuse to have any contact with Wehbe.

In 2005, Wehbe was engaged to a Saudi businessman Tariq Al-Jaffali. However, the couple split after only a few weeks due to personal reasons and family issues.  

On April 24, 2009, Wehbe married Egyptian businessman Ahmad Abu Husheim in Beirut.  Among the guests at the wedding party were singer Anastacia, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, Googoosh, Samar Ibrahim, Nawal Al Zoghbi, Najwa Karam, Ragheb Alama, and Sherine. In November 2012, Wehbe and Abu Husheima had separated.
            

Miss South Lebanon

Childhood and Family:

Haifa Mohammed Wehbe, who would later be popular as Haifa Wehbe, was born on March 10, 1976, in Mahrouna, Lebanon. Her father, Nadim Antar, is a Lebanese, while her mother is an Egyptian from Al Mansoura, Sunni Muslim family.

When she was 16, Haifa won the title of Miss South Lebanon. She went on to reach the second position at the Miss Lebanon beauty contest.   

Haifa has been married twice. She and first husband Nasr Fayyad have one daughter Zainab  Fayyad. She married second husband  Ahmad Abu Husheim in 2009, but they later split in November 2012.


Ghala Ghala

Career:

Haifa Wehbe began her career as a model in 1990s after her victory in the beauty contests in Lebanon. By 1996, she had appeared on the covers of more than one hundred magazines. She also gained notice for her appearance in a music video clip for the famed Arabic singer, George Wassouf.

In 2002, Wehbe made her debut as a singer with the release of her first studio album, “Houwa El-Zaman” (“It Is The Time”). The album was a commercial success, thanks to the popularity of her first single, “Akoul Ahwak” (aka. “I Say I Love You”).

Wehbe's second studio album, “Baddi Eesh” (“I Want To Live”), followed on February 22, 2005.  It spawned seven hit singles with “Ya Hayat Albi” (2005), “Baddi Eesh” (2005), “Ragab” (2005), “Ana Haifa” (2005), “Fakerni” (2006), “Ma Khadtesh Bali” (2006) and “Teegi Ezzai” (2006). The album gained negative reviews from music critics and sparked major controversy in the Arab world because of its explicit sexual and provocative tone.  

In 2006, Wehbe was featured on the reality television show “Al Wadi” (“The Valley”), based on the French reality show “La Ferme Célébrités,” alongside other Arab celebrities. At the time, she performed hits from her second album.    

The same year, Wehbe appeared on the Italian television channel Rai Uno at Piazza Navona in Rome, making her the first Arab artist to do so. In June 2006, she made a name for herself  as the first Arab artist to perform with rapper 50 Cent when she performed the opening act for his first concert in Lebanon, at BIEL in Beirut. Still in 2006, Wehbe became the spokesperson for Pepsi, and appeared  with football star Thierry Henry in Pepsi ads that were aired on Lebanese television during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.   

On July 4, 2008, Wehbe launched the third studio album “Habibi Ana.” It produced four singles:  “Mosh Adra Astna,” “Mat'olesh Lehad,” “Hasa Ma Bena” and “Yaben el Halal.” Sales of her album struggled in the Middle East because of her lack of promotion since she was focusing more on her acting and film career at the time.

Wehbe made her acting debut in the Pepsi produced film “Sea of Stars,” which was released in early 2008. Her co-stars in the film included Carole Samaha, Ahmad el Sherif, Wael Kfoury, Brigitte Yaghi and Ruwaida al-Mahrooqi. She also played the role of Beesa in the high grossing drama film “Dokkan Shehata,” which was released in Egypt on May 20, 2009.

In March 2010, Wehbe launched a children's album called “Baby Haifa” via Rotana Records. In the following month, she was featured on French DJ David Vendetta's album “Vendetta” on the song “Yama Layali.”

The studio album “Malikat Jamal Kon” (“MJK”, aka. Miss Universe”) was released on May 8, 2012 under Rotana. The album reached No. 1 on iTunes Worldwide albums chart, making Wehbe the first Lebanese artist to hold this position on the chart.

In 2013, Wehbe  released a new single called “Ghala Ghala,” which she dedicated for her new love, a Lebanese businessman named Ahmad. The song reached the top position on the Arab song chart  for weeks.      


Awards:

Murex d'Or: Best Song, “Yama Layaly,” 2011
The “ART': “Dokkan Shehata,” 2010
Murex d'Or: Best Singer Actress, 2010
Murex d'Or: Most Popular Lebanese Singer, 2009
Murex d'Or: Best Artist of the Year, 2006
Murex d'Or: Best Artist of the Year, 2005
Oscar: “ninashnash,” “Baddi Eesh,” 2005
Best Young Female Arab singer in Egypt, 2004
Golden Lion: 2002 Show Less
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