‘I am proud to be a Muslim,’ supermodel Bella Hadid tells magazine

Supermodel Bella Hadid this week opened up about her Palestinian father’s immigration experience in an interview with Porter magazine. (Photo courtesy: Porter magazine)
Updated 04 April 2017

‘I am proud to be a Muslim,’ supermodel Bella Hadid tells magazine

DUBAI: Supermodel Bella Hadid this week opened up about her Palestinian father’s immigration experience and her embrace of Islam in an interview with Porter magazine.
Bella, along with her supermodel sister Gigi and brother Anwar, are the children of Yolanda and Mohamed Hadid, who lived in Syria and Lebanon before he moved to the US in his teens.
“My dad was a refugee when he first came to America, so it’s actually very close to home for my sister and brother and me,” Bella said, referring to US President Donald Trump’s recent measures against incoming refugees.

“He was always religious, and he always prayed with us. I am proud to be a Muslim,” she added.
On her rise to fame, the model added: “It gets really overwhelming…You feel really overexposed and you don’t want to see anybody... I just want to be in my apartment alone and kind of retreat and be centered again.”


Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

Updated 18 August 2019

Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

  • Barqawi promotes what she calls ‘high-street fashion’
  • Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content

DUBAI: Between the luxurious fashion statements and international runways, Palestinian-Jordanian Aya Barqawi continues to inspire her followers with thousands of on-budget styles.

“I always try to make people feel inclusive. I want to end this intimidation that comes with fashion,” the Saudi-born blogger told Arab News.

Barqawi promotes what she calls “high-street fashion” and finds the challenge of adapting to international trends “fun.”

“I am looking for new ways to make trends work for me,” she said. “You just need a little bit of creativity and imagination.”

Like many women her age with similar passions, the 24-year-old was unable to study fashion in college because of a lack of opportunity in the Middle East. Now, as a design graduate, she incorporates her field of study with a social media career.

Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content. “Studying design helped me shape my visual identity on Instagram because I do a lot of graphic work on my photos. It makes it easier for me to create digital content,” she said.

The stylist also worked as a fashion photographer for a brand in Berlin. “I never thought they would pick me over people who are actually from Berlin, who were actually German,” she said. “But my work spoke for itself.”

Barqawi is always looking to motivate other women. “No matter what the field of work you are in, never underestimate yourself. Never second-guess yourself and never compromise your standards for anyone or anything,” she said.

The fashion blogger has also worked in media as a TV producer and segment producer. “I have done digital, I have done TV, so now I am just open to anything that comes my way,” she said.