The model sisters, Gigi and Bella Hadid are not born into your typical Arab household. Their father is a Palestinian Billionaire Mohammad Hadid, and their mother is Dutch Model Yolanda Hadid. When it comes to embracing their Arabic identity the Hadid sisters certainly do not shy away from showcasing their roots. From fashion shows, Vogue covers to even just marching in public for their country Palestine; the sisters do it all with so much passion. We are breaking down 5 important times Gigi and Bella Hadid embraced their Arabic roots:
1. When Bella Hadid attended a Pro-Palestine protest in London.
Bella took to the streets of London to join a protest that was happening against Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his plans to construct a new U.S embassy in the Palestinian city. Bella further voiced her opinion on an instagram post where she wrote, “Watching the news and seeing the pain of the Palestinian people makes me cry for the many many generations of Palestine”, she continued her emotional post by adding, “The treatment of the Palestinian people is unfair, one-sided and should not be tolerated. I stand with Palestine”. The pictures of her protesting blew up on social media and many people from the Palestinian community praised her for being more hands on with the cause.
2. When Gigi Hadid voiced her support on twitter for Palestine protests in Gaza.
The Israeli military showcased deadly force to the Palestinain protests that took to the streets to stand against the inauguration of the U.S embassy in Jerusalem. Gigi showed support for her people when she tweeted on Twitter, “For me, this is not about religion or one against the other – it’s about the greed.”
She further showcased an article on her Instagram that said that this was the deadliest day for Palestinians since 2014 and that casualties included women, children, and journalists.
3. When Both sisters attended with their Father the Arab Conference at Harvard.
Gigi and Bella Hadid attended with their father Mohamed Hadid North Americas largest Arabic conference which is the Arab Conference at Harvard University. This is where Mohammad Hadid talked about the power of identity that his children need to carry for generations to come about Palestine. He explained that growing up he has vivid memories of staying in refugee camps, and how hard it was for him. He raised the importance of his children carrying the Palestinian identity because it is something that kids are slowly losing as they live in North America and warm up to North American culture.
Fun Fact: The Yalla! Let’s Talk team attended the conference and were there to see the Hadid sisters in person and they were as amazing as ever! If you are interested in conferences for Arab-identifying millennials in North America, check out the YLT CON, an annual conference held by Yalla! Let’s Talk. To stay updated, follow the conference’s Instagram page or our main YLT Instagram page.
4. When Both sisters participated in cover shoots for Vogue Arabia.
Gigi and Bella Hadid both had the incredible opportunity to grace the front covers of Vogue Arabia. Gigi debuted her front cover in March of 2017, and Bella followed her debut on the front cover in September of 2017. Both sisters faced major criticism for being used as the first models to be on the cover of Vogue Arabia as they were not “arabic” enough. Gigi Hadid has spoken out since the backlash and has said, “I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch. Just because i have blonde hair, I still carry the value of my ancestors and I appreciate and respect that.” She continued to say, “There’s always this thing when you’re mixed race or you come from two different worlds. You see how both sides treat each other. And you become a bridge between both sides”. Bella on the other hand has stated that she deserved to be on the shoot because she is proud of her Palestinian identity and has claimed that she is a “proud Muslim”. The magazine continues to strive to represent the modern Middle Eastern woman. But, Gigi and Bella Hadid embraced their Arabic roots, and collectively continue to do so.
5. When the sister duo powerfully owned the Marc Jacobs Arabian inspired runway.
Marc Jacobs showcased an exciting Spring 2018 New York Fashion show by making it Arabian themed. He showcased models in hijabs, turbans, harlem pants and lots of jewels. Marc Jacobs New York fashion show is the most highly anticipated runway and that particular year he decided to add an Arabian flair while showcasing his outfits. The Hadid sisters were both present at the show. Gigi Hadid wore an oversized coat with an orange turban draped over her shoulders. Bella Hadid wore an oversized black and white jumpsuit with a matching turban.
As you can see, the Hadid sisters have gained appreciation and love by the media for embracing their Arabic identity as well as criticism for it. But, this has never stopped them from doing what they feel is right and for continuing to stand up and support causes that surround the Arabic community and to continue getting closer to their culture and understanding their roots and where they come from. Continuously, Gigi and Bella Hadid embraced their Arabic roots and were proud of it. For more on the Hadid sisters, check out Susan’s piece on whether Gigi Hadid is normalizing children out of wedlock in the Arabic community.
by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff