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6 world stars you did not know had Arab origins

These stars have conquered the entertainment world with their talent, charisma and determination. In this article, we will explore their backgrounds and highlight their often overlooked Arab heritage.


Shakira is a Colombian singer, songwriter and dancer who has achieved worldwide success with her unique blend of Latin and Middle Eastern music. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, to a father of Lebanese origins and a Colombian mother, Shakira grew up in a multicultural household that exposed her to a variety of musical influences.

Shakira’s Arab heritage has had a significant impact on her music. She has incorporated many oriental instruments and rhythms into her songs, such as “Ojos Asi”, some of whose lyrics are also in Arabic.



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Une publication partagée par Shakira (@shakira)

Salma Hayek

Born in Mexico, Salma Hayek is an actress, producer and activist who has been a prominent figure in Hollywood for over two decades. Hayek’s father is of Lebanese descent.

In 2018, Hayek produced and starred in “The Prophet”, an animated film adaptation of Lebanese writer Gibran Khalil Gibran’s classic book of the same name.



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Une publication partagée par Salma Hayek Pinault (@salmahayek)

Rami Malek

Born in Los Angeles to Egyptian immigrant parents, Rami Malek has gained worldwide recognition for his performances in films and television series such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mr. Robot.”

In an interview with GQ Middle East, the actor said, “There is no first generation, or second generation suppressed. I am Egyptian. I grew up listening to Egyptian music. I loved Umm Kulthum. I loved Omar Sharif.”

“They are my people. I feel so connected to the culture and the human beings that exist there. I recognize that my experience is different, but I am so in love with Egyptian culture that it is intimately connected to me. It is the fabric of who I am,” he added.

Gigi and Bella Hadid

The two Palestinian-American models are among the most recognized faces in the fashion industry. Born and raised in Los Angeles to a Palestinian father and a Dutch-American mother, the Hadid sisters actively claim their Palestinian heritage.

Both sisters have used their platforms to promote Palestinian culture.



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Une publication partagée par Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

DJ Khaled

Born in New Orleans to Palestinian immigrant parents, DJ Khaled is a musician and producer who has become one of the most celebrated figures in hip-hop.

DJ Khaled’s success in the music industry has made him one of the most prominent Arab Americans in the entertainment world. He has produced numerous hit songs and albums throughout his career. The producer has worked with a wide range of artists, from hip-hop and R&B icons like Jay-Z, Beyonce and Rihanna to rising stars like Lil Baby and Megan Thee Stallion. His most popular tracks include “I’m the One” featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne, Quavo and “Wild Thoughts” in collaboration with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller.

DJ Khaled’s signature hook, “Another One,” has become a staple of pop culture and is often used to signify success or achievement.



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Une publication partagée par DJ KHALED (@djkhaled)


See also

What are these Hollywood stars doing in Syria?

Published on 7 March 2023

#Arab world