The Dazzling Diva We Love
After releasing her astounding new single ‘Ahdam Khabreye’ (The Nicest News), Haifa continues to amaze us by throwing a ground-breaking show at 6ixdegrees in the North Coast. We hustled all night to the catchy tunes and were sent home with a hell of a night to remember. We asked the Middle East’s own beauty icon everything we were curious to know, here’s what she told us…
ON LOVE AND GLAMOUR
How many people contribute to the way you look?
Before I go out on stage, I choose my outfit according to my mood after my hair and makeup are done. I do have a stylist, but I’m also very spontaneous and I make last minute choices. If I’ve had a long, stressful day, I leave it for the styling team to decide, but I usually like to pick something that compliments my mood.
How big is your wardrobe? How many pairs of shoes do you have?
My wardrobe is big enough! With glass doors and windows everywhere, you can easily see everything inside. My clothes are colour-coded and categorized; as for my shoes, I can honestly say I’ve never counted how many of them I have.
Do you have a personal trainer? How do you keep fit?
I do have a personal trainer, but because of my work schedule it is often difficult to be consistent. I have a nice gym at home and I make use of it; however, I don’t have a set routine –I just try to do everything. I exercise regularly, but it depends on my schedule as well as my mood.
Describe your dream partner. (Physically and characteristically)
A good man will make me feel good, respect me, and put me first. When I’m with my him, I need to feel he will take good care of me and make sure I am comfortable and content. All in all, my kind of man should look healthy and smart, but if he’s also good looking, then why not! How a man treats a woman outweighs how he looks; a good man can look beautiful in your eyes, but a handsome man who isn’t a good person will seem ugly after a while.
We’re super curious about your current relationship status! Will you fill us in?
I like a guy who loves to live. He’s successful, smart, and not a troublemaker. My career often involves being filmed and recorded, so I like my personal life to be private -no bling! The guy I like is not showy and is genuinely friendly and funny.
How do you deal with the haters?
We have haters and we receive criticism, the latter I can learn from, but there are mentally disturbed people who just throw insults at you and your family on social media for no reason. Those people have no life and no empathy, so the best thing to do is just ignore them. I think some of them are actually secret admirers that have personal problems and complicated personalities, others are trying to get attention at any cost. Both need a life, really!
If you had not achieved your raging success as a celebrity, what would you have done?
I would have loved to build a school for children or something of that sort. I love working with kids; they are kind, innocent and adorably playful. I was a very mischievous child, though. I used to pick chili pepper, pretend they were strawberries before feeding them to my friends and get in trouble!
Have you made any professional decisions that you regret? What are they?
I feel regret sometimes when I plan a concert months in advance and then the closer it gets, the more I feel I’m not up to it. I feel tired and lack the energy to travel and wish I could cancel but I can’t. It eventually turns out alright, but building up to it is sometimes too difficult. I regret some things and decisions in my last movie and I know I should’ve been more assertive when saying “no” to scenes I did not want to do. Even if I learned from it, I’ve learnt in the public eye and I should remember that my mistakes are scrutinized all the time. I now know better, and I’ve learnt the importance of saying “no”.
Do you still get stage fright or is it too easy now?
Yes, I still experience stage awareness and stress all day, up until ten minutes after being on stage then I start enjoying the atmosphere and I relax. I try to make sure everything is under control and make sure it will all be ok and that everyone will be happy with my performance because I genuinely care. All my worries fade away after seeing everything is in the right place and that everyone is enjoying themselves.
OUR CURIOSITY DOSE
If you could live in a different era, when would it be and why?
I like this era and wouldn’t change it, but I also love old movies and the good old days. People respected each other; they were better educated and good education is the essence of a healthy society. I sometimes wonder if they knew their time was the golden era or if they begrudged their ancestors like we are currently doing! They would shoot their movies on the streets wearing mini dresses and passersby would just walk on, but now we have to shoot at dawn and still we get harassed for the way we’re dressed.
Who ground you when you feel overwhelmed or conceited?
Just my two sisters; they are my rock. They ground me, advise me and we confide in each other.
Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton?
As an Arab, I definitely wouldn’t pick Trump, but Hilary isn’t a good candidate either!
Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, or George Clooney?
Haifa Wehbe or Angelina Jolie?
I pick Haifa! But if I had picked Brad Pitt earlier, then I’d change my answer to Angelina because I find them a great humanitarian couple that seem to genuinely care about others.
Sci Fi, Chick Flick, or other?
Action movies with a plot twist. Romance bores me and Sci-fi is not my cup of tea.
Pop, Indie, or other?
I choose pop music and rap (RNB) as well as Arabic. I like fun music and I love sha’by; there is no shame in liking any kind of music! I would love to listen to ‘Haty Bosa Ya Bet’ (Give me a kiss, girl) in the middle of a pop music night and then go back to up-beat tunes, which brings us to how the success of my latest movie relied a lot on a song that was absolutely sha’by.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
Who is your idol?
- When you’re down, who or what picks you up?
My sisters who are also my best friends. Being a successful woman in the Arab world is not easy at all. I can sometimes act crazy if there is no one to ground me. At times, I think “who gives these people the right to judge me?” I get angry and wish I could slam haters back on social media, but I refuse to waste my time and energy on people who don’t matter to me. Alia, my younger sister, is quite emotional and cries sometimes from some of the hateful comments we receive and that’s when I have to be smart and rational to calm her down.
- A day in the life of Haifa
Mornings: I love to linger in bed for a bit in the morning. I have my Nescafé and check my phone before I get up and shower. I may visit my home gym and run for a while after which time I check emails and make work-related phone calls. I can also retweet something I like but I don’t waste too much time on social media. I do like a little interaction with fans, though.
Afternoons: If I don’t have a gig or have to travel, I go to the office. If I have to travel, I start packing for my trip. I end up taking everything with me though! I am hopeless, and have to take everything I need or might need; at least eight outfits with their accessories to be on the safe side. If it’s a leisure trip, however, I’m a lot more relaxed and take the simplest things ever.
Nights: If I’m not travelling, I try to have lunch or early dinner with my family (me, my mum and my sisters) as often as I can. At night, I can go to Roof Top with my friends, but if I have work, I make the needed preparations.
- What’s your favourite:
Summer/winter destinations: I love the beach. White sandy beaches and coconut trees are my favourite! I love Portofino, Miami, Havana, Italian shores and I love to play sports in the sand. I also love Beirut’s beaches and Egyptian Sahel but they can be too crowded at times.
Sports routine: I love all kinds of sports, especially beach sports including volley or tennis on the sand.
Show: I love talent shows like the X-factor (UK or US). I love to watch good talent as well as bad, funny auditions and laugh. I also like shows with fast results or turnovers, not the ones that require watching a hundred episodes to follow what’s going on.
Animal: Puppies! They are cute, cuddly, have expressive eyes and are very smart.
Sanctuary: My home with my family where I become Haifa the human, not the celeb. Or at a chalet on the beach having quality time with my friends or family. Location is not important, it’s who you are with that matters
Anything you would like to share with our readers?
I am very lucky to have quality people in my life. They ground me and love me and take care of me. Sometimes, it is difficult to deal with the sad people who hate your success; people who think they will make an impact if they are nasty and rude to you and they exist in every field, but especially in the media. Then someone as nice as you guys comes along and makes it all worthwhile! It was lovely being in Sahel this summer among beautiful people who just want to have fun and have a good time.