Exploring how Haifa Wehbe took the world by storm

“Ana Haifa, ana” echoes through the collective Arab memory. Haifa Wehbe’s infamous words of greeting are only a fragment of her long list of iconic moments. This is a singer who has reigned supreme not only over Arab music, but also over Arab popular culture.

Haifa Wehbe was born in Mansoura, Lebanon, on March 10, 1976. She cultivated an affinity for music during her younger days by listening to jazz music and R&B. Blessed with striking beauty, she embarked on a modeling career and won the Miss Southern Lebanon title at 20. In 1995, she took second place in the Miss Lebanon competition. 

In the early 2000s, a friend encouraged Haifa to record her first song, “Agoul Ahwak,” which would become a significant step in her career. Soon after, she would release her debut album with the famous music label Rotana. “Houwa Al-Zaman” in 2002 launched her into the forefront of the Arab music scene. The album’s success established her as a prominent name in the region’s pop music landscape, with her subsequent releases further solidifying her position as a pop icon.

Her most iconic hit, “Ana Haifa” (2005), catapulted her into superstardom. With its infectious rhythm and Haifa’s distinguishable baby voice, the song became an anthem for fans across the region. The interplay of her charming persona and sense of style made her the undisputed original Arab pop star.

Following the success of “Ana Haifa,” Haifa maintained her momentum with her chart-topping hit “Baba Fein” (2006), a play on a popular Egyptian song. It was hailed by fans and critics as another masterclass.

Courtesy of Haifa Wehbe Instagram
Courtesy of Haifa Wehbe Instagram

In addition to producing some of the catchiest tunes, Haifa gave us some of the most iconic music videos in Arab music history. No one can forget the adorable mother and son duo in “Wawa” or the glamorous green dress in “Baba Fein.”

In 2012, the singer’s popularity skyrocketed to international levels when she collaborated on “MJK” with iconic rapper Snoop Dogg. This showcased her willingness to push regional boundaries and experiment with different musical genres, a trait that only earned her more admirers.

Despite being a global name and maintaining an outgoing public persona, Haifa’s moments of vulnerability have touched us. Early in her career, she candidly shared her tribulations, including marrying her cousin at 18, relocating to Nigeria, and the subsequent challenges, including a custody battle for her daughter Zeineb. Despite her fame, she temporarily stepped back from the limelight to focus on regaining custody of her child.

The Arab diva also made notable contributions to the acting world in Lebanese and Egyptian films and television series. Her on-screen presence and memorable performances have garnered critical acclaim.  Some of her outstanding acting credits include roles in films such as “Dokkan Shehata” (2009) and “Halawet El Donia” (2017), where she proved her range as an actress. Additionally, her appearances in television series such as “Drama El Sa’eh” and “Kalam El Leil” further highlighted her acting prowess and cemented her status as a multitalented star. 

Source: IMDb

Today, Instagram gives us the chance to keep up with Haifa Wehbe, who is 51 years old and living her best life, stunning the fashion world with her gorgeous looks from Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and local designers like Ali Karoui and Khaled & Marwan. The pop star is still releasing music and touring the Arab world and beyond, carrying herself as the megastar she is