Imaan Hammam explores Arab roots in Vogue Italia’s DNA-themed issue

Imaan Hammam has walked the runway for some of the world’s leading luxury brands. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 July 2019

Imaan Hammam explores Arab roots in Vogue Italia’s DNA-themed issue

DUBAI: Dutch-Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam is Vogue Italia’s July cover star in an issue that focuses on themes of identity and genetics.

The DNA-themed issue hit newsstands late last week with three different covers, featuring models Karen Elson, Imaan Hammam and Gigi Hadid.

US-Palestinian model Hadid was photographed by Alasdair McLellan, while Imaan Hammam and British model Karen Elson Hammam were photographed by Harley Weir and Theo Sion, respectively.

“Why did we choose DNA (as the theme)? Because also for Vogue Italia, as much as for fashion labels, it’s essential to question where our genetic code stands: The answer is in creativity, without compromises,” said Emanuele Farneti, the title’s editor-in-chief, according to Women’s Wear Daily magazine.

For her part, Hammam revealed some interesting results after taking a DNA test.

“A dream come true! My first ever @vogueitalia cover and it’s a very, very special cover for me because it’s all about DNA. I’ve done my DNA test to find out more about my roots and heritage! Finding out that I am 70% Egyptian — which I kinda knew — and 10% Sudanese and 7.6% Senegambian and Guinean (sic),” Hammam posted on Instagram, alongside a shot of her magazine cover.

“I’m only 22 (and) knowing where I come from will help me understand who I am,” the model told Vogue Italia, adding “Islam taught me that regardless the blood, we’re all sons of the world.”

Hadid also spoke to the magazine about her DNA test results.

“Being Arab and European makes me feel open-minded, pushing me to love any cultural background. Embracing our own origins makes us more tri-dimensional and complete human beings,” Hadid said, reflecting on the results of the test that show she has 21.5 percent Italian genes.

The latest issue marks the first under the creative direction of Ferdinando Verderi.

“Ferdinando Verderi’s creative direction brings a cohesive vision of all the magazine’s ingredients: Photography, graphics and writing. DNA, the subject selected for (his) first issue, is a testament to that and it comes to life in the cover’s shootings, through interviews and texts, as well as digital content,” Farneti said.


Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to get his very own Times Square billboard

Updated 11 min ago

Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to get his very own Times Square billboard

  • Amr Diab is the first Arab artist to appear on a Spotify billboard in Times Square
  • The move is a bid to promote the music and culture of the Middle East and North Africa

DUBAI: Amr Diab is the first Arab musical artist to get his face plastered on a Spotify billboard in New York City’s iconic Times Square. 

The streaming giant projected a smiling portrait of the Egyptian crooner in one of the most-visited landmarks in the Big Apple in a bid to promote the music and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

“Today we are celebrating Diab’s legacy and we are proud to see him shine so brightly - literally - on the global stage,” says Claudius Boller, Managing Director, Spotify Middle East and Africa in an official press statement. 

According to Spotify, the legendary singer’s music is most streamed in the United States, followed by Sweden, Germany, the UK and Canada.

His album “Nour el-Ain” (Our Eyes Beam) brought him global success and earned him the title of “The Father of Mediterranean Music” for his style of blending Egyptian and western rhythms. 

Diab received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Big Apple Music Awards in 2009. At the 2014 World Music Awards, Diab was also awarded Best Egyptian Artist, Best Male Arab Artist, and World’s Best Arab Male Artist Voted Online.

He was also one of the first artists to headline a concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Saudia E-Prix in 2018. He was part of a superstar lineup that included the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo, the Black Eyed Peas, One Republic and David Guetta. 

The 58-year-old singer is set to take the stage of the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre in Jan. 20, 2020.