Bella Hadid, Salma Hayek and the Mardini sisters in TIME Magazine’s '100 Most Influential 2023'
Palestinian-American supermodel Bella Hadid, Lebanese-Mexican actress Salma Hayek Pinault, and journalists and artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been named in TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2023.
Hadid - daughter of Nazereth-born tycoon Mohamed Hadid - was praised for making the fashion world more inclusive and applauded for showcasing her "vulnerability and openness" to the world, despite her celebrity status.
The Palestinian-Dutch supermodel, who was named in the list's 'Pioneers' category, regularly uses her social media platforms to speak out against Israeli brutality against Palestinians and the occupation.
"In awe of this achievement, and being able to be recognized alongside so many talented, hardworking and life-changing people," Hadid wrote on her Instagram of the accolade.
Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who are currently imprisoned in Iran for breaking #MahsaAmini's story, and Iran-based singer Shervin Hajipour make the "TIME 100: Most Influencial People of 2023" list 💚🤍❤️https://t.co/allngJRkHW pic.twitter.com/XC1IWUZMOr— Holly Dagres (@hdagres) April 13, 2023
Hayek - whose ancestors came from Baabdat, Lebanon - was honoured for her advocacy work, campaigning against gender-based violence, and supporting migrant causes.
Fifty-six-year-old Hayek remains one of Hollywood's most renowned actors of Latin American descent, starring in films such as 'Frida', which earned her an Academy Award nomination in 2002.
She was lauded by TIME for her strength, intelligence, and paving the way for other Latin Americans to enter the US film industry.
Swimming sisters Sarah and Yusra Mardini, who fled Syria in 2015, made headlines for saving the lives of other refugees on their boat when it sank in the Aegean Sea.
Since then Yusra has represented the Refugee Olympic teams at the 2018 and 2020 Olympics and was appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
Sarah has since returned to Greece to work as a lifeguard and support refugees, but was accused of aiding "illegal migration" in 2018, something the Greek government has been widely condemned for.
The sisters' incredible story was retold in the hit Netflix film 'The Swimmers', released in 2022.
French footballer Kylian Mbappe, whose mother is Algerian, was also featured on the list.
The 24-year-old was the top scorer in last year's FIFA World Cup, having led Les Bleus to their second consecutive World Cup final.
Catapulted to fame after becoming the second-youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final after Brazil legend Pele in 2018, Mbappe is widely considered to be the face of French football.
Despite his huge fame, the Paris Saint-Germain striker has remained humble, crediting his mother Fayza Lamari for this approach on and off the pitch.
Other names to be featured in the list are Iranian singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour, journalists Nilofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, and Turkish singer-humanitarian Haluk Levent.
Hajipour rose to prominence last year following the release of his song 'Baraye', which was inspired by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who was fatally beaten in police custody in September last year following her arrest for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly.
The song, which translates to 'Because Of' in Persian, won a Grammy award for the ceremony’s first-ever Best Song for Social Change category in February this year, and is regarded as the protest anthem for the large-scale, anti-government demonstrations that erupted across Iran in response to Amini’s death.
"He became the voice of Iran," filmmaker Marjane Satrapi wrote in TIME.
Meanwhile, Hamedi broke the news of Amini’s death, having posted a photo of the 22-year-old’s grieving family on social media.
Mohammadi covered Amini’s funeral in her Kurdish hometown of Saqez. Both reporters were subsequently detained on trumped-up charges, and have remained in prison since.
Haluk Levent, one of the most celebrated names in Turkey’s rock music scene, was hailed by TIME for his efforts providing relief for those impacted by the devastating earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria in February. Levent did so through his non-profit Ahbap, which means 'Friend' in Turkish.