Shakira


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Born on 2 February 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia, she is the only child of William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia Ripoll Torrado. Her paternal grandparents emigrated from Lebanon to New York City, where her father was born. Her father then immigrated to Colombia at age 5. The name Shakira (Arabic: شاكرة‎) is Arabic for "grateful", the feminine form of the name Shakir (Arabic: شاكر‎). From her mother, she has Spanish (Catalan and Castilian) and Italian ancestry. She was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools. She has eight older half-siblings from her father's previous marriage. Shakira spent much of her youth in Barranquilla, a city located on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, and wrote her first poem, titled "La Rosa De Cristal/The Crystal Rose", when she was only four years old. As she was growing up, she was fascinated watching her father writing stories on a typewriter, and asked for one as a Christmas gift. She got that typewriter at the age of seven, and has continued writing poetry since then. These poems eventually evolved into songs. When Shakira was two years old, an older half-brother was killed in a motorcycle accident; six years later, at the age of eight, Shakira wrote her first song, titled "Tus gafas oscuras/Your dark glasses", which was inspired by her father, who for years wore dark glasses to hide his grief.