We're Celebrating These Women on Arab American Heritage Month
As the month comes to an end, we are celebrating Arab American Heritage Month, which falls every year in April, honoring the contributions of Arab Americans, as well as Arab American heritage and culture. In recognition of this important annual occasion, we are celebrating seven Arab American women, trailblazers in their own fields, recognized names in the United States, in their countries of origin, and everywhere in between.
1. Huda Kattan
The proud daughter of Iraqi immigrants in the United States, Huda Kattan had humble beginnings before following her true passion and becoming a makeup artist in 2009. Today, she is the beauty and makeup mogul behind her eponymous brand, Huda Beauty, which offers some of the most highly sought-after eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, lipsticks, and more. Her success story has been a truly remarkable one, and her brand has ranked by The Cosmetify Index over high-profile beauty brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverley Hills, and Kylie Cosmetics.
2. Toni Breidiger
A true pioneer and role model, Lebanese American Toni Breidinger is the first ever Arab female NASCAR driver. She currently drives No. #02 SS Chevrolet for Young’s Motorsports in ARCA, and at just 21 years of age, is a 19-time USAC winner, the highest record for any female driver. She recently partnered with Huda Beauty for her track debut at General Tire 200 at Tallegada Speedway, which took place on the 24th of April.
3. Melanie Elturk
The daughter of a Lebanese father and Filipina mother, Melanie Elturk is the CEO of Haute Hijab, an e-commerce site and community resource that specializes in contemporary “modestwear” for Muslim women. The former civil rights attorney co-founded the company in 2010 with her husband Ahmed Zedan, launching a wide range of luxury hijabs and contemporary headcovers since then. Her New York-based company also donated headscarves to hijab-wearing healthcare workers fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Bella and Gigi Hadid
You’ve seen them, you know them, Bella and Gigi Hadid have sashayed on many a catwalk for some of the most renowned fashion designers in the world such as Dior, Gucci, Chanel, and Versace, and they have also been featured on magazine cover after magazine cover. Their father is Palestinian-American real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and their mother is a former Dutch model Yolanda Hadid.
5. Christine S. Abizaid
Lebanese-American Christine S. Abizaid was recently nominated by the United States President Joe Biden to be the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. If confirmed by the Senate, Abizaid will be the first woman to hold the post on a permanent basis. Prior to her landmark nomination, Abizaid was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, and spent nearly a decade as a counterterrorism intelligence officer.
6. Rima Fakih
Nabbing the title of Miss America in 2010 was just the first step for Rima Fakih who continues to share her voice with the world and hold Lebanon's name high. Adding to her success, the Lebanese American public figure and philantropist is also the proud mother of three beautiful kids with her husband, Wassim Slaiby, a renowned manager of international singers with the likes of the Weeknd. Check out our exclusive interview with the Lebanese beauty here.