Bella Hadid celebrated her birthday on Sunday by honouring her Palestinian roots.
The 26-year-old Palestinian American supermodel – who has vowed to continue her public support for Palestine – blew the candles on a cake decorated with the Palestinian flag and posed alongside another Palestinian kanafa cake and painting gifted to her.
Hadid has often used her platform to shed light on atrocities faced by Palestinians and has marched in Free Palestine demonstrations and reportedly donated her earnings to organisations supporting Palestinian refugees.
Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, shared an image of herself, Bella and Bella’s sister Gigi Hadid with the cake – which alongside the Palestinian flag, contained a variety of other objects iced on top of it, including a butterfly and a camera.
A Palestinian-owned bakery located in New York named ‘Kanafa Cups’ also made Hadid a red heart-shaped Kanafa cake – which is a popular sweet traditional desert in the Middle East, where different regions make the dish in slightly varying ways.
The Kanafa cake was gifted to Hadid by her Palestinian makeup artist Nadia Tayeh, who is the talent behind many of Hadid’s famous looks.
The supermodel was also gifted a portrait of her father Mohamed Hadid by Lebanese artist Said Elatab – according to The National – which depicted the Palestinian-born real estate developer in front of the Palestinian Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Bella Hadid’s father fled Palestine during the 1948 Nakba, the Catastrophe, when tens of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes during the creation of the state of Israel.
Palestinians living in occupied territories are still systemically subjected to continuous forced expulsions and violent attacks.
They are denied basic rights and freedoms, amounting to what multiple human rights organisation have called “the crime of apartheid”.