14 Stars That You Didn't Know Are Middle Eastern

It's pretty crazy that it is 2016 and there are still people who believe every single stereotype about Middle Eastern culture. In such modern times, there are people who feel that all people of Middle Eastern descent look, dress, sound, and think the same. Obviously, this is a dumb assumption to make in general when it comes to any group of people, but I feel like Middle Easterners are particularly victimized in the media and in real life. It's ridiculously dumb and  I can't help thinking that people would feel less inclined to believe negative stereotypes if they realized that so many of their favorite celebrities and other public figures that they love are actually of Middle Eastern descent. Ideally, people would realize that every Middle Eastern individual is different solely based on common sense, but if that has not happened so far, it's very unlikely to occur at this point.

That is why it makes sense for us to realize that so many public figures have Middle Eastern roots. It is also important to recognize that the phrase "Middle Eastern" encompasses many countries and cultures including Iraq, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Oman, Cyprus, and Bahrain.  This should be emphasized because it doesn't make sense to have a singular mental picture for what a Middle Eastern person looks, sounds, dresses and acts alike. It's the same thing as expecting people from different states in America to have the same accents, appearance, and hobbies. It just would not be at all logical.

Sadly, the phrase "Middle Eastern" has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. That is both unfair and unnecessary.  Hopefully if people recognize how many of their favorite stars have roots in these different cultures, then they could find it easier to be more accepting. There are probably a lot of celebrities that you had no idea were Middle Eastern.  Did you know that these 14 celebrities have Middle Eastern roots?

14 Jerry Seinfeld

13 Natalie Portman

12 Bar Refaeli

11 Salma Hayek

10 Jenna Dewan-Tatum

9 Gigi Hadid

8 DJ Khaled

7 Shakira

6 Hoda Kotb

5 Zoe Saldana

4 Vince Vaughn

Via Bigstock Images

This one is a little bit of a stretch, but technically it still counts, so hear me out and have an open mind here. Vince Vaughn is a celebrity who can be considered Middle Eastern because his grandmother on his father's side of the family is Lebanese. Aside from that, Vince Vaughn has a varied ethnic makeup with Italian, English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Dutch mixed in among other things. But no matter how small of a portion his Middle Eastern heritage may be, it is still something for him to take pride in!

3 Jillian Michaels

2 Andre Agassi

1 Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul has always had an appearance that has been tough to put your finger on. Without any offense intended, Paula Abdul has always seemed ethnically ambiguous to me. And by that I mean that almost anyone with any cultural background can relate to the singer because her look is so versatile. Paula Abdul is Russian and Ukranian on her mother's side of her family, but Paula Abdul's father is Syrian. This means that we can credit half of her good looks to her Middle Eastern heritage.


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14 Stars That You Didn't Know Are Middle Eastern