Too much cleavage? Why did Egypt's government decide to ban Lebanese pop star Haifa Wehbi's new movie?

Published April 18th, 2014 - 04:00 GMT

The Egyptian government abruptly pulled from theaters a recently released movie starring Lebanese pop icon Haifa Wehbi, arguing that the movie should be reevaluated by the censorship board.

Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Halab issued a decision to ban all screenings of "Halawet Ruh" so that the censorship board can review it once again "following protests and criticisms," Bawabat al-Ahram reported.

The movie has caused an uproar in Egypt, with many, including talk show hosts, criticizing the sexually provocative scenes as well as a young boy’s infatuation with the character played by Wehbi.

The movie centers on a woman named “Ruh”, the object of desire of many men living in a poor neighborhood in Egypt.

The storyline also focuses on a character of a young boy who is in love with Ruh and tries to help her and confronts those who desire her.

The first scene opens with a 14-year-old boy dreaming of Ruh and imagining her getting dressed, shaving her legs, and eating a watermelon and rubbing it on her chest.

The Cairo-based National Council for Children and Mothers also criticized the movie, saying the plot represented a danger to the ethics of young children and contradicted the norms and traditions of Egyptian society.

The movie's producer, Mohammad al-Sabki, declined to comment on the ban, saying the film received the green light from the censorship body before viewing.

On her Twitter feed, Wehbi said she respected the decision of the Egyptian authorities, denying rumors her former husband was close to the prime minister and that the ban was means to take his revenge.


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