Middle East conflicts have a reputation for being particularly insoluble... rooted as they are in deep emotion, identity, culture, hot and cold war, and history. So it is with great pleasure that I can report (with help from Elaph) on an almost unbelievably successful initiative which seems to have resolved one of the more intense conflicts on the scene today: Haifa vs. Elissa.
Eliss and Haifa, two of the hottest Lebanese pop tarts, have a bit of history. They have been publicly feuding for years, and their cold war turned hot a little while ago over some unfortunate developments at the World Music Awards. Unpleasant things were said, disparaging remarks uttered, cold shoulders turned... it wasn't pretty.
Enter New TV's show The Maestro. Elissa was the featured guest, and the host tried to provoke her into expressing her real feelings about Haifa. Elissa instead offered praise, describing Haifa as a "star of the first order" who succeeded due to her real "charisma" not only her "beauty." The host then announced that he was going to call Haifa - who had been notified in advance to watch the show - to see if she would accept Elissa's apology. But the phone rang... and rang... was this a calculated snub on Haifa's part? Was she purposely not answering the phone in order to humiliate Elissa on live TV? The tension was... well, tense.
And then... a producer's cell phone rings. It's Haifa! She wants to talk to Elissa directly! "Good evening Elissa" "Good evening Haifa"... Elissa repeated her praise directly to Haifa, and Haifa responded that she quite liked one of Elissa's songs. Everyone laughed and smiled, and wondered what all the trouble had been about and why they hadn't talked before [hint: ratings! good TV! Ramadan audiences! breathless magazine stories!]
And so, they turned over a new page, as Rula Nasir of Elaph put it, and ended the two year old conflict. Reconciliation achieved - they might not love each other, but they can co-exist in peace. They agreed that no artist can dominate 100% of the public's adoration. A giddy Elissa then told the host that she could also co-exist with Diana Haddad, Carol Saqr, Shirin, and a few others (not Nancy, though).
Then they sang.
Perhaps we could all learn something from Elissa and Haifa? Something about peace, reconciliation, co-existence... and shameless ratings grubbing?