For GRAZIA’s third episode on season two of Preserving Palestine, I invited Lina Hadid to join me as we discuss how she became a lawyer and realised the need to “manifest her Palestinian-ness” after growing up in the United States.
Click here to listen on Spotify.
Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.
From Gigi to Bella and Anwar, the Hadid family has undoubtedly become a symbol for Palestinian freedom for years now. But have you ever wondered who was the charge behind it all?
Lina Hadid, who is the cousin of the super-model trio, has been actively and consistently raising awareness for Palestine for decades now. With just one scroll on her Instagram page, you won’t find a single photo that isn’t related to Palestine. From all the guests I’ve been fortunate to have on Preserving Palestine, I think it’s safe to say that no one has dedicated their entire life to fighting for the cause as much as Lina Hadid has.
From our insightful conversation, it was clear that the lawyer, negotiator and activist is undeniably operating on 100 miles per hour. If there were ever a MC battle on the topic of Palestine, there’s no doubt that Lina would come out as the winner. When asked how she manages her career, whilst still having time to travel across the globe as a guest speaker at multiple events and also have any sort of social life, she responded “do I sleep? No, I do. But when I was in law school, I was so challenged because I would get professors who would give 2000 pages to read for the next day… I started learning how to sleep for only four hours a day, and I modelled myself after Yasser Arafat, because he only sleep four hours a night.”
Lina didn’t always want to be a lawyer. She wanted to be a performing artist, but her mother, who passed away a few months ago, didn’t allow her to pursue it. Instead, Lina followed the traditional pursuit. “All of us were heavily heavily pushed towards serious education, because of my grandfather, Anwar Hadid, who was forced out of Palestine in 1948,” she told me.
Although she may have not (yet) pursued her dream of becoming a performing artist, Lina certainly has a creative side and it’s not a shock that she centres it around Palestine. One of the first things you may notice when scrolling through Lina’s photos is her undeniably chic fashion sense, made even more fashionable and meaningful by painting the words “Free Palestine” on possibly her entire collection. From Chanel flapbags to Rimowa suitcases and leather jackets, Lina is making it fashionable to support Palestine. So much so, that people have visiting these brands requesting Lina’s items.
“I have been doing this for a very long time, I’ve been tagging my my own bags and my own personal clothing and I do not leave my house every day without being wearing something that says free Palestine,” she charmingly tells me. “I am tagged every single day, and people definitely know me by it. But when I decided to start doing it, I felt like as a lobbyist that I needed to kind of put it in writing in non-verbal communication. And the key to non-verbal communication is that you get a message across very quickly without saying anything,” she continues.
“I do not leave my house every day without being wearing something that says free Palestine.”
“In Chanel in Rue Cambon, in the principal store, and in Gucci in the middle of Milan, or in the middle of Florence, all these places people walk in and they show them a picture and they’re like, “I want this bag.” And they’re like, “dude, that’s Lina Hadid, she does her own graphics. She does her own bag.” Whilst Lina has collaborated with several artists and designers on her own merch, and admits she has more in store, it would be quite interesting to one day see a “Free Palestine” capsule collection by one of these luxury brands.
In a conference by Amnesty International in 2022, after the organisation released a 278 report in which they bluntly declared that Palestinians were facing apartheid, Lina Hadid was invited to speak as a panelist. But it was only recently that Lina had lost her mom. “My mother had an unexpected heart attack, and passed away and I wasn’t expecting it. So I wasn’t sure that I was really going to be able to go through with it,” she admits to me. “I went to the event, and unfortunately, I just really wasn’t ready… But this is not about me. Whatever your problems are, you’ve got to put them under the mat and you have to focus on the bigger picture which is really all of the Palestinians that are suffering inside occupied Palestine.”
“Whatever your problems are, you’ve got to put them under the mat and you have to focus on the bigger picture which is really all of the Palestinians that are suffering inside occupied Palestine.”
Even when Lina knew she wasn’t ready to publicly speak, especially on a topic as tragic as the plight of the Palestinians, she still showed up. Because that is exactly the kind of person she is. Lina Hadid puts the suffering of the Palestinians over her own personal suffering.