Ramadan is basically a whole season of entertainment when it comes to Egyptian television; no questions asked about that. This is how it is, every year. However, the said entertainment has a different taste when it comes to Basma Wahba.
Basma Wahba is an Egyptian TV presenter who works at Al-Qahera w Al-Nas. She is commonly known for her controversial talk show ‘Sheikh El-Harra‘, which has recently been canceled.
For three consecutive years now, ‘Sheikh El-Harra’ has been invading our TV screens during Ramadan. And those who are not that interested in the million drama series being aired are most likely tuning in to watch it.
But for some reason, this specific season of ‘Sheikh El-Harra’ grabbed major attention. And people all over social media started turning the episodes into memes. Additionally, some were even having arguments over the celebrity feuds Wahba supposedly ‘uncovered’.
We have recently discussed the racist and sexist comments by actor Maged el Masry, which some claim to be the reason why the show was canceled.
Others claim the episode with Yasmin el Khateeb, who discussed her marriage with Khaled Youssef was the reason. It has also been rumored that Khaled Youssef is suing the show, due to his claims that what was said in the episode, including his marriage to El Khateeb, was false.
With that being said and as much as we can’t deny the power of the Egyptian internet in turning everything into a meme and making it look like fun, ‘Sheikh El-Harra’ is really anything but funny.
If you’re wondering why, here’s basically everything wrong with Basma Wahba’s ‘Sheikh El-Harra’:
1- The Invasion of Privacy
The show is all about this. Honestly. If you disregard the team that works on getting all the private/personal stories about those celebrities, there would be no show.
Invasion of privacy is one of the most crucial factors in the violation of press ethics. Whether it’s a newspaper or a television show; the basics of media ethics all around the world go back to how invasion of privacy is a solid no.
However, the issue in this specific show is that this privacy invasion can be argued, big time. Why? Well, credibility.
2- The Credibility
We talk about invasion of privacy, but how do we know those celebrities are not paid to reveal private information about their own lives?
The ‘Sheikh El-Harra’ part in the show is all about an anonymous person who ‘supposedly’ has his ways to uncover really private facts about the guest and hold it against them.
And of course, the guests’ reactions always vary between those who get angry, those who threaten to leave, those who cry and those who are totally shocked.
In addition to those who say stuff like: “I told you we can’t talk about this,” to Wahba. Like, what does that even mean?
It’s one of two things; either they are aware of the questions and the ‘private’ facts to be revealed during the episode beforehand, or they just had some specific conditions about certain topics before filming.
It’s basically like the made up Ramez Galal prank show, but on a whole other different level.
3- The Scandals
Let’s assume that none of this is made up, and that celebrities really get taken aback by the private facts revealed about them on the show. This still does not make it any less awful.
Because that would mean they literally do nothing but try to embarrass those people publicly. And the worst part is that they get this information and all the scandalous revelations through sources that are very close to the guest. Which is – in itself – really scary and unsafe.
4- The Dialogue
The way Wahba ‘interviews – if we’re going to call it that – those people, is just incredibly rude and intruding. She usually tries to seem playful. But the opposite actually shows.
She fires questions at them, puts them in the most horrible situations, and tries her best to make them look guilty. Which is – needless to say – incredibly unprofessional.
Whether you’re a journalist or a TV presenter, there are ways to get information – proper, at least – out of people, and that’s not one of them.
5- Making a Joke out of People
Where do we start here? All we’re going to say is that a woman who was domestically abused to the point that she literally lost a whole organ, is now being made fun of.
Her ‘spleen’ issue is being used in memes and instead of sympathizing or even not talking about it at all, people are hysterically laughing on social media.
And that usually happens when Basma Wahba makes a joke out of her guests. Well, not just her guests. Sometimes, she even makes a joke of other people WITH her guests, like the Maged El-Masry racism case, for example.
What’s the Point?
Now that we’ve listed everything wrong with that talk show; it’s time to try and understand the point behind it.
Almost every talk show has a specific purpose, whatever it is. For example, Amr Adib‘s ‘El-Hekaya‘ covers Egypt’s news and hosts some celebrities, every now and then. Esaad Younes‘ ‘Sahbet El-Saada‘ hosts a different celebrity every episode for a very normal – and even fun – interview.
And there are many other examples. But what we’re trying to say is; when a TV presenter hosts a celebrity or a public personality for that matter, they usually have a solid topic to discuss. Or at least, proper things to say.
However, in Wahba’s case, all she does is host people to basically drag them and turn them into ‘the talk of the hour’ in a bad way, of course. And for what? Literally, no reason at all.