Bahrain: Lebanese singer causes political storm

Earlier this week the provocative Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe performed in Bahrain, but not before Bahrain's MPs protested and tried to ban her concert.

Mahmood gives us a taste of Haifa Wehbe's music in a vlog:

He adds:

So what’s so special about this lady then, that would make her so damnably dangerous that they’re all frothing at the mouth to bar her from performing in Bahrain?
Well my friends, I hope this vlog will demonstrate that there is really nothing unusual about her, other than being a beautiful lady who can’t sing! But those qualities could hardly be held against her, she is not the first and most certainly not the last person to use what Allah has given her to her advantage.

Munther was offended by the high price of tickets – for a concert which happened to be on International Workers’ Day:

Oh and bringing Haifa Wahbi to celebrate the day is the biggest insult to the working class especially with tickets starting from BD 50 ($132.642) – who are you kidding?

What's Up Bahrain is also shocked by the ticket prices:

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD PAY 200 DINARS TO SEE A TALENTLESS WOMAN SING ON STAGE !!!!!!!! Seriously what's up with those ticket prices, if you're willing to charge that much for a hayfa wehbe concert why not get someone who deserves it.

Nevertheless, the concert sold out – and Mahmood has a theory why:

In spite of the ‘severe’ objections from Islamist MPs, Hayfa sang last night at the Gulf Hotel and thrilled the audience who filled the hall with all tickets sold! What does this demonstrate? Does it demonstrate that the MPs have no authority whatsoever, or is it that the government chose – in its wisdom – to simply stall and ignore them completely and do nothing to let the concert go on? To me, I think it clearly demonstrates that at the very least the MPs did not choose their battle wisely, they rushed things, polarised opinions, stepped on multiple toes and in the end, the lady sang despite all their objections, resolutely poking her fingers in their wandering eyes while thanking them, even subliminally, for making her show a memorable sellout concert. Hang on, maybe it was that in the first place, both Hayfa and the MPs were in cahoots. It was a planned PR and marketing exercise to ensure that the tickets – even the expensive ones – sell out completely! Smart! Those MPs are very very smart!

Ammaro looks at the bigger picture:

I wasn't even going to go into the whole Haifa Wahbi issue, since I believed the whole fuss raised about her was, to say the least, ludicrous. But when I … just mentioned the fact that I thought our MPs were being really, very silly by trying to ban the concert, I get our dear Mr. Anon arguing at how he didn't like what I said. Well, the truth is, the are unfortunately a number of people who are with our MPs on this, and who believe banning a singer was the right thing to do. This isn't a reply to you, Anon, but it's a reply to all Islamists who believe our country should turn into a mini Saudi Arabia, all those who believe our MPs have a job to enforce their religious extremist beliefs on us, and is a direct message to all our MPs to stop their stupid antics and do the job they were hired to do. Anon, you mentioned that Bahrain is supposed to be an ‘Islamic Country’. Well allow me to say that really has no relevance; countries don't go to heaven or hell, countries don't get judged under of the eyes of God. People do. It doesn't matter how ‘Islamic’ you try to make a country, it won't affect the people in it; the good people will be good, and the bad people will be bad, regardless of where they live. … Now let's jump back to our MPs. Trying to ban a singer? Bahrain has ISSUES, guys! From unemployment problems, to housing, to corruption, to figuring out who stole what from where.. We didn't hire you to do religion, we hired you to do politics. But you guys focus on a bloody singer, and you're giving me Islam as an excuse? Islam is about behaviour, actions, and what's inside your heart first before anything else. Things banned are only a small part of it, but you've turned it into a HUGE issue. When you guys sit in a parliament session swearing at each other, that's not Islamic. When you guys skip a session to fulfil your own agendas while the people who trusted and elected you wait, that's not Islamic. Hell, when you try to do a job you're unqualified for, sitting on your butts earning a salary that you don't deserve, that's not Islamic. So get off our backs and start doing your jobs, or resign and let someone whose qualified to create progress do them.

And in a follow-up post, Ammaro has some disappointing news for the MPs:

Here's to our MPs and everyone else trying to ban Haifa Wahbi thinking THAT will solve all our morality issues. A big slap in the face for you, Manama has been ranked as the NUMBER EIGHT sin city in the world.

1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.