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“We want to prepare her,” Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik On Raising Their Child With Religion

today10 February 2021


Supermodel Jelena Noura (better known as Gigi) Hadid and singer Zayn Malik only recently introduced the world to their baby girl (born September 2020) and have since been selective about the ways in which they share their personal moments with her and the world. Understandably so, after all, the media is quick to judge: mom-shaming, racism, uncalled for criticism and many more are just a few of the ways in which social media is wielded as a tool against public figures. Which is why when Hadid agreed to open up about motherhood with Vogue, there were a lot of questions. The LA-born beauty shared why she chose to give birth at home and even, how she plans on guiding her and Malik’s youngin through the social complexities of religion and culture.



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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)


Having grown up in a bi-religious family – the 25-year-old model’s father, Mohamed Hadid, is Muslim and her mother, Yolanda Hadid, is Christian —  Hadid understands the importance of exposure, be it to different religions, cultures or spiritualities. Speaking to Vogue, she shared:


“I felt like I was allowed to learn about every religion when I was a kid. I think that just giving your child the opportunity to explore different interests is such a beautiful thing,”


As for how she and baby daddy Zayn Malik plan on doing so, she says “it’s good to take different pieces of different religions that you connect with, and I think that’s how we’ll do that,”. However, Hadid also has a realistic outlook on parenting, knowing full well that there will be times when people will try to question and/or attack her daughter for her religious/spiritual choices and culture. Hadid cited an instance after 9/11 when her brother’s elementary schoolmate told him, “Your dad’s a terrorist,” and how that instance has shaped the grounds for an important discussion on issues like Islamaphobia, racism, xenophobia and bias with their daughter.


“I think that [Zayn and I] both want our daughter to understand fully all of her background — and also we want to prepare her. If someone does say something to her at school, we want to give her the tools to understand why other kids would do that and where that comes from.”



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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)


And in understanding her background, Hadid and Malik started with their baby girls name, with ‘Khai’ meaning “chosen one, royalty or nobility” in Arabic. In the same vein, Khai will refer to her grandparents using the culturally appropriate terms they prefer. For example, Hadid’s dad Mohamed goes by “Jido” (Arabic for “grandpa”) and her mother Yolanda will be “Oma” (“grandmother” in Dutch). On Malik’s side, his father is British-Pakistani and will be called “Abu” (“father” in Urdu) while his mother will be referred to as “Nini” (British slang for “Nana”). Hopefully, this will allow Khai to embrace every facet of the beautiful blend of cultures she’s been born into!




*Cover image credits: Instagram / @gigihadid

Written by: Marissa Anne

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