10 Celebrities With Arab Roots

The following celebrities have Arab roots and some of the names may surprise you.

DJ Khaled

DJ Khaled, best known for his antics on social media platform, Snapchat and of course his major hits with the likes of Drake, Beyonce and Kanye West, was born in New Orleans to Palestinian parents. His family originally immigrated to America in their 20s and set up home. Sticking to his roots, the Arab star is also married to Nicole Tuck, who is also of Palestinian descent and they have a son together with a somewhat traditional name, Asahd.

Paula Abdul

American Idol judge, Paula Abdul is actually of Syrian descent. Her father hailed from Aleppo and raised in Brazil before he later moved to America.

Salma Hayek

There is something about Salma’s dark features that link her to a very mixed ethnic background. She is part Lebanese, part Mexican and Spanish. Her father comes from a place in Lebanon called, Baabdat, where Salma went on to visit as she promoted her film, The Prophet in 2015.

Gigi and Bella Hadid

The Hadid sisters are extremely well known and seemingly proud of their heritage as they have previously mentioned it in interviews and campaigning for Palestine. They are half Palestinian, with their mother being from the Netherlands and their rather famous father, Mohammed is Jordanian American with a Palestinian heritage.

Julia Sawalha

Best known for her longest running role in Brit-comedy, Absolutely Fabulous, and her appearances in the James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights, Julia Sawalha was born in Jordan to a Jordanian father, also an actor, Nadim Sawalha, and British mother.

Shannon Elizabeth

Shannon Elizabeth is better known for being a supporting actress and her roles in comedy films like Scary Movie and American Pie, but what is surprising about her is that she is half Arab! Her father is Syrian/Lebanese and her mother has German, English and Irish ancestry.


A bit of a throwback if you were born in the 70’s, Tiffany was the first teen singer to have her first two singles go straight to number one in the billboard charts. Her father was Lebanese and Syrian and she was born, Renee Darwish, but changed her name to pursue her career in music.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi is a former tennis champion and has Arab heritage through his dad, a sportsman and Olympic boxer for Iran who had an Armenian and Assyrian background.

Yasmin Le Bon

Lesser known for being of Arab descent, 90’s supermodel, Yasmin Le Bon was born to an Iranian father and British mother.


The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer recently visited Lebanon where her paternal grandparents came from. Shakira was born in Colombia to a Colombian mum and a Lebanese dad who was born in New York City.

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