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Friday, July 19, 2024

Houthi Influencer Urges Followers to Prioritize Palestine Cause Over His Looks

Yemeni influencer Rashid Al Haddad, dubbed the "hot Houthi pirate," wants followers to shift focus from his viral looks to advocate for a free Palestine amidst the Red Sea conflict.

A 19-year-old Yemeni social media influencer, Rashid Al Haddad, has gained viral fame, earning the nickname the “hot Houthi pirate” due to his good looks. With a mop of messy hair, Al Haddad has drawn comparisons to actor Timothée Chalamet, and his Instagram posts have garnered admiration from thousands of followers. Despite the attention on his appearance, Al Haddad is redirecting the focus to a more serious cause.

Al Haddad, who has 28,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 11,000 on X, has announced his shift towards activism. He is using his platform to advocate for “a free Palestine” amidst the ongoing Hamas-Israel war. In response to the viral attention on his looks, he expressed on X, formerly known as Twitter, “I didn’t talk about beauty or anything else, but our cause is Palestine, and this is not the time to talk about beauty.”


Al Haddad has shared multiple videos from aboard the hijacked container ship, the Bahamian-flagged Galaxy Leader. The vessel was first boarded by Houthi rebels on November 19, with its 25 crew members remaining in captivity. Al Haddad’s videos depict life on the ship and have become part of a broader phenomenon of documenting the Red Sea conflict on social media platforms.

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In response to the Houthi attacks on international cargo ships off the coast of Yemen, President Joe Biden ordered multiple airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthis. The U.S. military, with support from the U.K. and other nations, carried out the strikes as a response to the endangerment of freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. Tensions escalated with a missile strike on a U.S.-owned ship in the Gulf of Aden, further intensifying the conflict.

The situation remains complex, with social media influencers like Al Haddad using their platforms to draw attention to the broader geopolitical issues at play, emphasizing the need for international awareness and action.