What can’t Rihanna do? First there were the No. 1 hits (starting with SOS all the way back in 2006), then came her explosive make-up line Fenty Beauty in September, and most recently, the launch of her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, earlier this month. Now she’s all set to star in the heist reboot Ocean’s 8, with Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Mindy Kaling.
Along the way, there have been a few famous beaus to garnish her journey. But lately, there’s been a particular buzz around her Saudi Arabian companion Hassan Jameel, who comes from far outside the industry.
WHO IS HASSAN JAMEEL?
Unlike Rihanna’s previous romantic links, such as Drake — who RiRi recently said she does not have a friendship with — Jameel is removed from the limelight.
The 29-year-old billionaire is the deputy president and vice chairman of his family business, Abdul Latif Jameel. The conglomerate was founded in 1945 and owns exclusive distribution rights to Toyota in Saudi Arabia. His family also owns the Saudi premier football league, the Abdul Latif Jameel League. Overall, they are estimated to be worth $1.5 billion (Dh5.5 billion).
Rihanna is not Jameel’s first famous link. Jameel was spotted alongside model Naomi Campbell in 2016 at a Stevie Wonder concert.
Campbell and Rihanna unfollowed each other on Instagram last year.
Host Andy Cohen quizzed Campbell about the supposed ‘feud’, to which she replied, “Everything’s fine. Of course it’s fine.”
When Cohen seemed unconvinced, Campbell quipped, “I’m an actress now, Andy.”
Jameel reportedly married Tunisian art curator Lina Lazaar in 2012 at the Paris Opera House, but the pair later divorced.
Jameel and Rihanna were first spotted together by paparazzi last June in Spain. They have kept a relatively low profile since, but were pictured separately leaving a 2018 Grammy Award after-party in New York City in January.
SEVEN CELEBRITIES AND THEIR ARAB PARTNERS
1. Emmy Rossum and Sam Esmail
Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, 40, was born to an Egyptian and Muslim family in New Jersey. He dated Shameless actress Emmy Rossum, 31, for two years, and was engaged to her for another two, before the couple got hitched last summer. The writer-director is best known for his award-winning TV series Mr. Robot, starring actor talent Rami Malek. Malek, as well as Rossum’s Shameless co-star William H. Macy, were in attendance at the lavish wedding. The ceremony began at a synagogue, and moved to the Guggenheim Museum.
2. Celine Dion and Rene Angelil
Celine Dion married her late husband Rene Angelil in 1994, at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Angelil, also Dion’s manager, was born in Canada to a Syrian father and a Lebanese mother. He met Dion in a professional capacity when she was 12 years old and he was 38; he had been sent a tape of the singer’s, and invited her in for an audition in Quebec. But they only began a personal relationship in 1988, when Dion was 20. Their marriage lasted 22 years, before Angelil died at 73 from complications with cancer.
3. Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima
25-year-old Algerian model Younes Bendjima began dating Kourtney Kardashian, 39, in October. They met shortly before Kourtney’s sister Kim was robbed at gunpoint in Paris. The pair were at a club when they received the call about the robbery, as Kourtney recalled. “[Younes] was like, ‘I’m not leaving you guys,’ and he like, had to translate everything,” she said. Bendjima reportedly speaks Arabic, English and French. The former boxer previously dated British model Jourdan Dunn.
4. George Clooney and Amal Clooney
Lebanese-British international and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 40, was born in Beirut. But her family relocated to the UK during the Lebanese civil war. In 2014, she became engaged to George Clooney, 57, after a friend brought her over to his house for an introduction. Amal is reportedly fluent in English and French, and speaks conversational Arabic. Before her marriage, Amal Clooney was known as Amal Alamuddin. Her first name means ‘hope’ in Arabic.
5. Khloe Kardashian and French Montana
Moroccan rapper French Montana, 33, born Karim Kharbouch, immigrated to the US with his family at the age of 13. He’s fluent in Arabic, French and English. In 2014, news surfaced that the musician had become romantically involved with Khloe Kardashian, also 33. They have since broken up. According to a Billboard article released four years ago, Montana’s house is adorned in Arabic prayers, and he wears a religious pendant. Montana told the reporter: “Ramadan slows me down. It’s such a beautiful month. Whatever you can’t stop, you [abstain from] during Ramadan.”
6. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan
Actress and dancer Jenna Dewan, 37, was born to a Lebanese-Polish father and a German-English mother. When she was touted “one of the most beautiful women from the Arab world”, Dewan tweeted: “My Lebanese family will love this.” She met actor Channing Tatum, 38, on the set of their 2006 film Step Up. The pair tied the knot in 2009, and separated earlier this year after nine years of marriage. They have one daughter together.
7. Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid
Model Gigi Hadid, born Jelena Noura Hadid, is the daughter of Palestinian real estate agent Mohammad Hadid and Dutch television personality Yolanda Hadid. Gigi, 23, began dating 25-year-old singer Zayn Malik in 2015, and the pair have been on and off since. Hadid has two younger siblings — Bella and Anwar (the latter named after his grandfather) — and two older half-sisters, Alana and Marielle Hadid.