Gigi Hadid Celebrates Being ‘Half-Palestinian’ on the First Covers of ‘Vogue Arabia’

Gigi Hadid’s Vogue cover tally goes up by one with the release of Vogue Arabia’s inaugural issue.

Hadid poses in a brilliantly beaded headscarf on the first-ever cover of Vogue Arabia, whose theme is “Reorienting Perceptions.” The 21-year-old supermodel shared one of the cover images shot by Inez and Vinoodh on Instagram and wrote about why this honor holds great personal significance.

“I think the beautiful thing about there being international Vogue’s is that, as a fashion community, we are able to celebrate, and share with the world, different cultures,” Hadid began. “Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of @voguearabia, and I hope that this magazine will show another layer of the fashion industry’s desire to continue to accept, celebrate, and incorporate all people & customs and make everyone feel like they have fashion images and moments they can relate to… & learn and grow in doing so.”

Vogue Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz said the following about Hadid’s cover:

“In one poised photograph, [Gigi] communicates a thousand words to a region that’s been waiting far too long for its Vogue voice to speak. The collage of countries across the Arab world are long-deserving of a place in fashion history and there’s no better first ‘face’ to lead the charge for Vogue Arabia than Gigi, a model who defines tomorrow’s entrepreneurial and dynamic generation.”

Hadid has spoken with pride about her ethnicity in interviews and on social media. In 2015, she wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo from her experience getting henna tattoos, “Before you go all ‘cultural appropriation’ in my comments, check out the last name. Hadid. Half Palestinian & proud of it.”

In 2016, she received backlash from an interview with Gulf News in which she incorrectly identified her boyfriend Zayn Malik’s ethnicity as “half-Middle Eastern” when he is from Pakistan, which is South Asian country that shares a border with India—not the Middle East.