Disclaimer: This is not about the starving children in many places of the world.
I guess you can say I’m very late for this. Haifa Wehbe’s prank happened last week. In blogging terms, that is way too passé. But like many things in this country, many seem not to have gone over it. Isn’t that why a surgeon, a resident and a nurse spent 20 minutes discussing it over a woman’s open abdomen yesterday? Or is that a doctors only thing?
For those who don’t know what happened to Haifa Wehbe, here’s a brief summary: she was led to believe she was filming something related to Egyptian tourism when she was taken to a newly discovered tomb where she was taken down underground tunnels only to be locked in a dark room where they let loose a snake, bat and a mummy on her.
The show of that Egyptian pharaoh-named wannabe person Ramez Ankh Amon is despicable. He wants to be the Arab version of Ashton Kutcher. What he does to the celebrities he pranks is near terrorism.
What happened to Haifa Wehbe is not acceptable. She had a panic attack, which – although not life threatening – gets the person to believe they are about to die, which only serves to increase their fear. Then you find out some Egyptian lawyer wants to sue her for not appreciating Egyptians enough, whatever that means. It’s all so sad and it sure gets you to feel sorry for her. After all, why don’t we stay in a room with a snake, a bat, a mummy and no vision whatsoever?
A similar prank took place last year with Cyrine Abdel Nour whose bus was fake-hijacked and she was forced to get off of it, get blind-folded while a fake battle raged around between the “terrorists” kidnapping her and the police. In what world is that acceptable celebrity pranks? Or are hijacking scenarios too far out to be plausible in these parts of the world?
It sure gets you worked up deep inside when you hear those celebrities go on and on about their tragedy: how they felt they were going to die, justifiably so; how they believe no one should ever go through what they went through; how this has made them better people who can encompass human struggles; how you can insert any Miss Universe answer here and it will make sense.
And for a while, the rhetoric works. I felt sorry for Haifa, for Cyrine, for the celebrities that were pranked. And then it dawned on me.
Q: Why hasn’t this ridiculous show been stopped yet?
A: Because celebrities like Haifa and her friends don’t want it to.
A day or so after Haifa’s prank took place, the video of that prank gathered almost 2 million hits on YouTube, which she even flaunted on Twitter. That’s more hits than some of her “music” videos. I didn’t bother to check so I might be mistaken. In those few minutes of them being “exposed,” the show gives them back tons of exposure, more fame and more money.
Haifa Wehbe and her friends don’t mind that despicable show. They don’t mind it extending to other famous people who will be pranked, in possibly worse ways, and of whom we might not know because they’re not “in” enough on our social media circles or our repertoire of famous people. They could have simply decided not to let their episode air for the public. They could have stood up against that despicable show and actively killed it. They certainly have the legal capacities and resources to do so. If enough celebrities refuse to air their episodes, as only few have done, that “prank” show won’t have any material to survive with. But many celebrities won’t have a reason to fuel in order to get more exposed, more known. So tell me again, why should I feel sympathy for them?