Jade Thirlwall spoke about her Yemeni heritage (Picture: Unicef UK)
Jade Thirlwall has teamed up with Unicef to learn about the ongoing conflict in Yemen and to help raise awareness.
The Little Mix star, 28, met with 17-year-old Somaya in a new video for Unicef, where she showed off her skills in Arabic.
Jade revealed that she learned the language as a child and one of the phrases she can say is how to ask for a cup of tea.
She spoke with Somaya, who is from Yemen, which is also where Jade’s grandfather was from before moving to the UK in 1943.
Jade revealed: ‘I have really fond memories of my grandfather going to the mosque and cooking me Yemeni food and telling me all these stories about living in Yemen.
‘You know, as I’ve got older, I feel like once my grandfather passed away when I was 13 I sort of lost a lot of my Yemeni identity because he was the main person in my life who would really champion my Yemeni heritage and encourage me to acknowledge it all the time.’
The pair discussed the civil war, life for young women and girls, and the work children’s charity Unicef is doing in Yemen over a video call.
Jade said: ‘It was a pleasure to speak to Somaya and I am grateful to Unicef UK for giving us the opportunity to have such a special conversation.
‘It is so important to hear from the people who are impacted by the conflict in Yemen and Somaya is the perfect example of a determined, remarkable young woman doing all she can to give a voice to the children who have been impacted.
‘The coronavirus pandemic has showed us that now, more than ever, we need to care for each other.
The Little Mix star revealed the phrases she can say in Arabic (Picture: Unicef UK)
‘Somaya’s wish for a future where every child can fulfil their dreams and potential was inspirational, and I am honoured to use my platform to amplify her story.’
Somaya also revealed her hopes of the pandemic ending so that children could go back to their normal lives.
She added: ‘I hope that kids in the future will not suffer like we do, and peace will find its way back. That is my hope for Yemen.
‘We sometimes lose hope, but I know things will get better and I am grateful for what I do have.
‘I am in my last year of school and lucky to have the opportunity to get an education, while many other girls in Yemen enter early marriages or are made to stay at home.’
To donate to Unicef’s appeal for children in Yemen, visit unicef.org.uk/yemen.