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Haifa Wehbe joins calls for boycott of ‘Beirut’

Haifa Wehbe
JEDDAH: Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe has joined calls to boycott a new Hollywood movie that many in the region are accusing of stereotyping Arabs.
“Beirut,” which stars Rosamund Pike and Jon Hamm, is an American take on the Lebanese Civil War and tells the story of a CIA operative in Lebanon negotiating a hostage release. The release date of the movie is set for April 13 to coincide with the 43rd anniversary of the war.
Wehbe on Friday posted several photos of herself on Instagram, captioning one with the hashtag “#BoycottBeirutMovie.”
“A movie filmed in Morocco, with no Lebanese cast, with no Lebanese input, with no Lebanese insight — and named after the capital city of a country, while it makes sure to perpetuate the exact notion believed by the people in the country where this movie will most advertise itself,” a petition calling for the movie’s boycott said.
“In the movie, Beirut, the notion that Arabs are people that exist in an endless circle of violence is perpetuated once more, whilst ticking off every white American’s notion of orientalist Middle Eastern realities. Even the tagline of the movie is ‘2000 years of revenge, vendetta, murder. Welcome to Beirut.’”
Mohamed Hadid, father of models Bella and Gigi Hadid, took to Vogue Arabia’s Instagram account to share his view on the film: “We were just in Beirut. It was magical. Beautiful, safe, loving, caring. Beautiful people and best food. I felt safer walking in the streets of Beirut than the streets of Paris. It was amazing. Love you Beirut. We will be back soon. @voguearabia.”