Egyptian authorities have reprimanded a Lebanese pop star for wearing some clothes on her body while performing a concert on stage.
41-year old Haifa Wehbe, who was playing a gig at the American University of Cairo last weekend, claims she was ‘called in for interrogation’ by the country’s tourism police.
The Daily Mail reports a female journalist in the audience was so upset by Haifa’s olive green mini shorts that she contacted authorities to complain about the pop star’s outrageous behaviour. Wearing shorts.
— Bitajarod بتجرد (@Bitajarod) October 28, 2017
Police passed the complaint on to the Egyptian Musicians’ Syndicate, responsible for licensing performances in the country, which summoned Haifa’s manager to complain.
The Daily Mail reports the pop star tweeting:
I was shocked to learn that a female journalist has lodged a complaint against me at the Syndicate in objection to the shorts I wore.
Has it become intentional [to jeopordize me] after every successful performance in Egypt? Or is this civilised look (my outfit) strange to some people?
Haifa claims to have been summoned by the syndicate, something the organisation denied while speaking to Al Arabiya.
— مجلة عين (@3ainnet) October 27, 2017
The syndicate say they haven’t made any moves to ban her and she doesn’t have to appear in person but her manager was called by them to ‘warn’ him the singer should ‘take into account the traditions and customs of Egyptian people’.
Haifa has caused quite a fuss in the past with her wardrobe choices.
In 2014 the singer received a barrage of criticism for performing on Arab Star Academy, a pan-Arab TV music talent concert, for being dressed in a sheer black gown.
Parts of the sheer material covering her thighs and buttocks turned translucent under the TV studio lights, which prompted complaints from largely female viewers in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
More concerning than the sinister sounding syndicate is the sad coincidence Haifa’s wardrobe complaint has emerged in the same week an Egyptian prosecutor suggested it was ‘national duty’ of men in the country to rape women in ripped jeans.
Nabih al-Wahsh, a prominent conservative, said on a TV panel show:
Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?
I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her.
Egypt’s leading women’s rights body has reported the lawyer for his comments – Nada Draz of the state National Council for Women said the comments ‘explicitly promote rape’.
Ripped jeans have become such a focus of controversy in the North African nation with some university colleges banning students from wearing them on campus.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.