Arab Celebs Caught in the Act: Pornography, Nudity and Scandal

Published February 21st, 2012 - 18:00 GMT

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Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe
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Image 1 of 10: Arab sex symbol, Haifa Wehbe, found herself at war with the Gauls when a French website posted 'pornographic' images - allegedly her's - from a sex tape. The singer denied it was her, accusing rival Rula Saad of a set-up, spreading these defamations. Also from Haifa's 'dossier' are snaps of her in a lingerie store taken from a 'security' camera.

Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram
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Image 1 of 10: Nancy Ajram: A video clip was leaked from a beauty salon in Egypt revealing the star semi-naked, mid-waxing session on a rather delicate area. Nancy has shown extreme outrage over the video claiming that some people abuse new technologies like mobiles for the forces of bad, not good. (Yes, we hate to burst your bubble, Madam Ajram).

 Celebrity Marwa, known for her sexy getups.
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Image 1 of 10: Lebanese Marwa is the latest in the line-up of scandalous stars. A leaked video from her film (Feelings) shows her completely naked. After a singing ban imposed in Egypt, she was exonerated by the musician's guild. Eventually, she admitted knowledge of the footage as not fabricated but from the filming. (When's the movie out, we ask?!)

Egyptian actress Dunya Abdel Aziz.
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Image 1 of 10: Egyptian actress Dunya Abdel Aziz was less than impressed when nude photos of her found their way to the internet. These showed her bathing in a scene from her movie, Dove Hunter - in which she stars alongside Ashraf Abdel Baqi. Dunya is otherwise known for playing racy roles in Egyptian cinema.

Syrian singer Nana al-Hayrana
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Image 1 of 10: Syrian singer "Na Na" is known, as it is, for her provocative video clips. So less surprise when a pornographic video with her "boyfriend" got out. It was said to be of high 'quality' (as far as sex-tapes go). She admits its authenticity, while citing unconsciousness during the filming, accusing her boyfriend (ex?) of using the tape as blackmail.

Egyptian belly dancer Dina
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Image 1 of 10: Egyptian belly dancer Dina's video sex-tape was leaked by her 'secret' husband. In fact, this embarrassing episode exposed her hidden marriage. The scandal caused her to withdraw from the public eye, distancing herself especially from media, until a recent TV interview in which she shrugged off the whole incident, saying 'I don't care'.

Lebanese singer and TV presenter Razan Maghrabi
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Image 1 of 10: Razan Maghrabi the Lebanese TV presenter was left red-faced when phone-footage of her behaving badly got leaked. She is shown being familiar with a male friend, deemed suggestive & indecent. When later reminded of the intimate & lewd behavior between her & this 'friend', she revealed him as her 'secret' husband. (Secret Arab marriages again)

Nicole Balan comeback designing Arabic Abaya
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Image 1 of 10: Nicole Ballan, the Lebanese 1995 runner-up beauty queen, disappeared from the face of Lebanon after her 'porn' scandal video with her then-boyfriend got leaked. The tape spread faster than Arab revolutions; the boyfriend wound up in prison, she in hiding. She has today wiped off her scarlet letter with a comeback into the Arab 'Abaya' business.

Rosarita Taweel was Miss Lebanon 2008.
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Image 1 of 10: Rosarita Taweel. A more recent Lebanese beauty, 'Miss Lebanon 2008' nearly had her title revoked no thanks to her nude photos on the internet - in violation of the contest's squeaky clean conditions for prize winners. She defended her photo-shoots as pre-2008, and her mother dismissed the whole affair as innocent fun with the Ethiopian maid.

Egyptian actress Ruby, Dunya Ghanem, Carole Samaha.
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Image 1 of 10: The Egyptian actress Ruby denied all knowledge of appearing in any porno video - claiming that such a video was fabricated. The Egyptian actress Dunya Samir Ghanem appeared scantily clad in a short clip in her underwear. The Lebanese Carole Samaha turned down, with distaste, an invitation to dirty-dance with a male model at a music concert.

Celebrities in the Arab world, as elsewhere are premium, hot stuff. They are stalked, chased, and hunted down by anything from paparazzi to people with snazzy phone cameras. Their's is a life of pressure and oftentimes distress, as they live every moment in the public gaze, devoid of privacy and the space to keep anything, let alone private marriages, from the media lens.

Scandals, while more commonplace in the western world, can still cause big upsets, marring lives in the Eastern world. Sex is still taboo and strictly for marriage. Arab celebrities can therefore find themselves, dizzy from the constant glare from TV, the internet, 'followed' on Twitter and in the supermarket or salon, caught off guard - wavering between confessions and denials of their on-camera supposedly-off-camera exploits.

Indeed, such controversial scandals can really offend and shake-up the foundations of the somewhat still more conservative Eastern cultures. While sex tapes and fame have become almost synonymous in the world of the Kardashians and the Paris Hilton trend-setters - who catapaulted into fame on the back of these indecent exposures- in the Arab world, we reserve the right to still be shocked. In the Middle East, certainly, home to the conservative Islamic faithful as well as more traditional Christian worshippers, and culturally 'affected' Arab peoples, sexually liberal behavior or out-of-wedlock candor is still very much taboo, on or off camera. Nudity, never mind pornography, can shame and scandalize entire families and the rank and file of society. It is more than just individual careers that come under the stern stamp of ill-repute.

The material from the cases rounded up in this shame-show has come about, reportedly, either from professional film footage including supposedly editited or deleted scenes, or else from privately leaked sources, even rivals looking to sabotage their competition. Otherwise, these expicit scenes discussed in this line-up, have been blatantly obtained unlawfully through security and phone cameras. Al Bawaba's picks of some the stars 'caught in the act' include, possibly the usual suspects:  Haifa Wehbe, Nancy Ajram, Marwa, Dina, Dunya Abdel Aziz, "Na Na" and more.

The Tunisian Cutlure minister has banned several artists from performing live shows in Tunisia due to their unsavory reputations. This hard-line censure has raised concern and speculation that Tunisia - much like other newly 'awakened' Arab nations - may be falling under an attempt to Islamisize new Arabia. Will the new Arab world be witnessing attempts to erradicate these pop-celeb influences from a purer Muslim culture?

Even Arab footballers and footballers of Arab background are prone to getting carried away in the culture of scandals.  Sami Khedira, of Real Madrid, (German of Tunisian origin), and Mohamed Zidan, (the Egyptian player), have both respectivly fallen foul of the social disgraces of indecent exposure outside the realms of their sport.

The question to ask ourselves is, do we expect this particular band of celebrities that is Arab to adhere to better or 'higher' rules of conduct since they are Muslim or Christian Arabs? Though they can expect the best of the high life that celebrity has to offer, entourages and red carpets and hero worship not excepting, do we count on them to retain the conservative cultural standards that they were borne out of. Or is it their celebrity-given prerogative to select their preferred bits of life in the limelight? Can the beast that is celebrity be reduced to nationality or culture; or is it just one out-of-control black hole of entertainmet fodder for the web-surfing, scandal-scavenging masses?

Leave your comments below. Do you think we have the right to intrude or even 'own' the lives of our very own Arab Celebrities, or do think by exposing themselves, they leave us little choice but to watch their exploits? 


 

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