Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall is trying to connect more with her Arab roots

British hitmaker's maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian. Instagram
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Updated 15 September 2020

Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall is trying to connect more with her Arab roots

DUBAI: Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall reveals that she was bullied into being ashamed of her Arab heritage in a candid new interview with Vogue Arabia.

The British hitmaker, whose maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian, detailed the bullying she experienced growing up and how it forced her to suppress her Arab identity, revealing that she regrets not embracing her heritage and roots.

“I had suppressed who I was because I wasn’t proud,” said the 27-year-old. “I had been bullied into thinking I should be ashamed of my identity, so I didn’t talk enough about my heritage in interviews. It makes me sad to think about it now,” she added.

The singer, who was joined by her mother Norma during the interview, says she now wants to represent the Arab world more now, explaining that her reluctance to embrace her heritage was due to lack of representation for her culture while growing up.  

“When I was younger, I didn’t see enough representation of Arabs in magazines or on TV, and when I saw people who looked like my granddad they were always misrepresented. I regret now that I didn’t talk about it more, but I was young and scared. I’m trying to make up for it now,” stated the “Holiday” singer.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by jade amelia thirlwall (@jadethirlwall) on

The 2011 “X-Factor” finalist revealed that growing up her grandfather used to play Arabic songs for her. She also spoke about attending Islamic school as a child. 

Despite feeling unable to discuss her heritage during the early days of her career, Thirlwall revealed that she is now “connecting” with herself and is even learning Arabic.

She said: “As an adult I’m connecting more with my Arab side – it’s a shame that it’s taken me until now to understand that. Being Arab is a beautiful thing.”


French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

Updated 20 September 2020

French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

DUBAI:Up-and-coming French-Tunisian singer, model and actor Sonia Ben Ammar has joined the cast of “Scream 5,”  it’s been revealed this week.

 According to Variety, production on Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures’ upcoming relaunch of the  famous horror film franchise is set to begin later this month.

Filmmaking duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are behind “Ready or Not,” are directing the forthcoming film.

The first “Scream” film was released in 1996, well before Ben Ammar was even born.  A smash hit upon its debut, the movie helped to revive the horror genre, becoming the highest-grossing slasher movie of all-time. 

This will be Paris-born Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress. She along with other young franchise newcomers will be joining returning cast members David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who are all reprising their iconic roles as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott.

Plot details for the new film, set to debut in theaters on Jan. 14, 2022, are still under wraps,  so it is not yet known what role the French-Arab star will be taking on.

“I’m SCREAMing of excitement!! (sic)” wrote the 21-year-old on Instagram, announcing the news to her 730,000 social media followers. “Incredibly grateful to be part of one of my favorite franchises. 2nd photo is my face when I got the call lol (sic),” she captioned a screenshot of Variety’s article announcing the news and a blurry snap of her clearly overjoyed. 

However, it’s not the multi-hyphenate model’s first foray into the film industry.

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.”

She’s also appeared in several music videos, including “Drivin’ Thru the Night” by DJ Petit Biscuit, as well as clips for her own singles, such as “Joyride” from her debut EP.

In addition to music, Ben Ammar is also a rising model, and has worked for many major brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Carolina Herrera and Chanel, among other prestigious fashion houses.