The Hadids are proud of their Arab roots

If you ever wondered where supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid bring their love for their Palestinian heritage from, then look no further than their father Mohamed Hadid. The real-estate mogul was a key note speaker at Harvard University’s Arab Conference during the weekend, where he spoke about Palestine and his ties to the country.

The 70-year-old who was born in Nazareth, Palestine discussed the notion of identity at the conference. Interviewed by journalist Jessica Azar, Mohamed spoke about growing up in Syria, Lebanon and Tunisia as a refugee, before moving to the United States at the age of 14 with his family. Even though he has only spent months in Palestine, it will always be his heritage and it is important for him to keep that identity alive.

“My parents always embedded in us that we are Palestinians, we’ll always be Palestinians, so my home has always been that virtual home, where my mum, my dad, my kids were learning to roll grape leaves with their grandma,” Mohamed said. He was also presented with an award at the largest Arab conference in North America, and was joined on stage with his five children: Marielle, Alana, Gigi, Bella and Anwar.

The developer, who last visited Palestine three-years ago told Jessica, “I’m just a simple man from Nazareth, and I’ll always be a simple man from Palestine.” After the event, Mohamed shared a picture on Instagram with his kids, which he captioned, “I want my kids to carry the torch for the future not to burn any one or anything but to shed the light on the injustice toward the Palestinian people.”


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The developer’s supermodel daughters have spoken about their Arab heritage and how they are proud of being Palestinian on multiple occasions. The latest being Bella’s Instagram post in support of her father after his speech, she wrote, “Drove from the city yesterday with all of my siblings to support our Baba speaking at @harvard . He spoke about his life and his many accomplishments but most importantly his journey as a refugee from Palestine. The most emotional part, for me, was hearing about his proudest moment as an architect; building the @hijrahva Mosque in Virginia in 1991. The fact that it still stands tall, as a safe place for Muslims& refugees to feel protected and comfortable, makes me the proudest daughter in the world. ”

“Baba, Thank you for constantly teaching &showing me the true beauty and truth of the Muslim/ Palestinian community; I can’t wait to continue to follow in your footsteps. Thank you @israspeaks for your question, contribution and all that you do. Your words speak volumes and I can’t wait to follow all that you do in the world !!! Thank you to @harvardarabalumni & everyone of the board for welcoming us. This day was beyond inspiring,” concluded Bella.

Watch the full interview here:

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