Arabs love to claim the likes of Shakira, Gigi Hadid and Salma Hayek, who are all major international stars with Arab origins.
But, there are also some random celebrities that, for whatever reason, were born in the Arab world even though their ancestry isn’t from the region. Here’s a look at 6 international stars that have roots in the Middle East and North Africa, even though they aren’t Arab.
1. Keanu Reeves was born in Lebanon
The famous Hollywood actor, best known for his role as Thomas Anderson/Neo in “The Matrix” trilogy, was born in Beirut in 1964. His mother was an English costume designer and performer named Patricia Bond and his father was Samuel Nowlin Reeves, an American from Hawaii.
Reeves’ mother was working in Beirut when she met his father.
2. Isla Fisher was born in Oman
Fisher, the star of “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” has also had prominent roles in “The Great Gatsby” and “Now You See Me” as well as numerous other films. She was born in to Scottish parents, Elspeth Reid and Brian Fisher, in Muscat in 1976.
Her father was working as a banker for the United Nations at the time of her birth.
3. Jean Reno was born in Morocco
Reno has starred in Hollywood films such as “French Kiss,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Godzilla.” He is also known for playing the lead role in the English-language French film “Léon: The Professional.” His film repertoire includes work in English, French, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
Born in Casablanca in 1948 to spanish parents, Juan Moreno and Herrera Jiménez, Reno was raised in Morocco, speaking Spanish, Arabic and French. He moved to France to study acting when he was 17.
4. Poorna Jagannathan was born in Tunisia
Best known for her work in Bollywood, particularly in the film “Delhi Belly,” Jagannathan is an American actress that has also appeared on popular TV shows such as “House of Cards” and “Law and Order.”
The daughter of a diplomat, Jagannathan was born in Tunis in 1972.
5. Nicola Pagett was born in Egypt
The British actress is best known for her role in the 1970s TV drama series “Upstairs, Downstairs.” She also starred in the film “An Awfully Big Adventure” and played the lead role in a BBC adaption of “Anna Karenina.”
Pagette was born in Cairo in 1945. Her father worked for a major oil company, causing the family to move a great deal while she grew up.
6. Melora Walters was born in Saudi Arabia
The American film and TV actress appeared in “Magnolia,” “The Butterfly Effect” and “Desperate Housewives.”
She was born in Dhahran in 1959 to American parents, growing up partially there and also in the Netherlands.