Saudi singer denies proposing to Iraqi actress

Mohammad Abdo says he does not know Mariam Hussain

By Habib ToumiBureau Chief
12:10 January 8, 2013

Manama: Saudi superstar Mohammad Abdo has denied claims that he proposed to an Iraqi actress, 41 years his junior, and that she turned him down.

Mariam Hussain, a 22-year-old actress born to an Iraqi father and Moroccan mother, this week reportedly said that the Saudi music icon had sent her text messages, expressing his love and proposing to marry her. She allegedly refused his proposal and has just agreed to marry a Qatari billionaire.

“I was shocked by the name and the news,” Abdo said in remarks published by Saudi daily Al Sharq on Tuesday. “I have never met an actress called Mariam Hussain and there is no relationship whatsoever between her and me. There is no truth to the claim that I wanted to marry her or [was]sending messages to her mobile to express my admiration or my desire to marry her. I have never proposed to her,” he said.

On Saturday, a Saudi daily reported that Mariam, based in the UAE, had turned down Abdo’s proposal.

“The great Arab singer had insisted on marrying me, but I turned him down. I admire him as a singer and in fact I am one of the most fervent admirers of his arts and musical performances. However, I did not want to spoil this admiration for a great Saudi and Arab superstar by marrying him,” she told Al Yawm.

The actress who has appeared in several stage plays and television dramas said that she did not regret her decision and that she has just agreed to marry a Qatari billionaire.

“A famous Qatari businessman has proposed and I found him the right man for me from all perspectives. I agreed after taking some time to ponder his proposal. We had an engagement party attended by relatives from both families and friends,” she said in the remarks published on Saturday.

The Qatari fiancé offered an engagement ring worth $120,000 (Dh440,784) and a private plane, Mariam said.

“We have not decided on the wedding date yet because it is still too early. The marriage after all could mean that I will have to quit acting to devote my time to my husband and future children. But, I believe I will not get married until I fulfil some of my dreams,” she said.

Abdo, born in 1949 in the Jizan area in the southwestern corner of Saudi Arabia, has been performing since the 1960s.

His numerous fans throughout the Arab world refer to him as the Artist of the Arabs, a honorary title bestowed upon him by then President of Tunisia Habib Bourguiba in 1982.

Reports say that his first marriage with a Saudi woman ended in divorce and that his second marriage was with a French woman of Algerian origin.