PICTURE: Was Abdel Halim Hafez gay?

A picture of legendary singer Abdel Halim Hafez caused a buzz on social networking sites as he appeared to be kissing another guy on the mouth. 

History researcher, Wassim Afifi sparked a debate after sharing a picture on Facebook where Egyptian singer  Abdel Halim Hafez appears to be kissing Egyptian musician Ahmed Fouad Hassan on the mouth.

Afifi commented: “One of the incomprehensible things is the method of kissing the lips from the thirties until the late fifties of the last century when it was “common” among people of the same sex.”

He added: “The photo is of Abdel Halim Hafez and Ahmed Fouad Hassan during the opening of the Diamond club, the picture is published in Al-Ahram newspaper,  issue of January 19, 1959.”

Muhammad Shabana, the nephew of the Hafez stated that Abdel Halim was not the only artist who used to kiss his colleagues this way, as he explained it was a kind of intimacy and expression of friendliness between the stars.

He said: “this custom was widespread at the time, and it was not all the time, nor with everyone.”

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