Bella Hadid is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s new October issue. The model looks like a princess in an elaborate piece of forehead jewelry, but she sounds more like a revolutionary storming the palace in her interview.
While she sat down with the mag back in June, politics were still on her mind long after she took to the streets to protest the President. The model opened up about her own Arab roots and talked politics during the lengthy chat.
“My dad was a refugee,” Bella told the magazine. “He came from Palestine to America when he was a baby.” Her father, Mohamed Hadid, may be a fabulously wealthy L.A. real estate developer now, but it wasn’t always that way. And Bella said her Palestinian family had a hard time getting in, even back then.
“Thankfully, he was able to come, but it was very hard and now it’s probably 100 times harder,” she said. “It makes me sad that power is getting taken from a lot of people and they’re not able to make a new life for their children and their families. It’s crazy to me that one person can tell you whether or not you can have a better life.”
Bella hasn’t been afraid to speak about her religion in the past, and the Muslim model made it sound like she’ll be speaking out a lot more in the near future.
“If I can’t talk about something that I’m passionate about, why even be here?” she asked rhetorically. “Why even do any of the stuff that I’m doing if I can’t make a better purpose for the world, or make a difference, or try to put light on a situation that is obviously so dark?”
Bella knows her career doesn’t give her a lot of chances to do that kind of work: “It’s not very giving, being a model. It doesn’t warm your heart,” she said. “It’s not as rewarding for the soul as most things.” Bella looks for other ways to find that fulfillment.
“Since I was a kid I’ve loved helping people,” she said. She even used to hug the homeless, according to her mom, Yolanda Hadid: “My mom always said that I would go on the street and hug somebody that was sitting on the corner.”
“It was just because I genuinely loved people, and that’s something that I want to bring forward with me in my career,” she said. “If I’m able to change something in the world for the better, then I’ll be ecstatic.” Bella sees a lot of potential for a bright future–even if she’s going to have a hard time facing it.
“I’m definitely an empath,” Bella said, “I’m very emotional but I’m also very strong. I’ll stand up for myself but I cry at everything.”
Read more of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s interview with the model they called “an intriguing mix of child and woman” here.