The Republican National Convention holds another debate for the 2016 GOP presidential candidates tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate will air on Fox News. Fox and Google teamed up for this debate, inviting a few YouTube personalities including Nabela Noor, to ask the candidates questions.
Here is what you need to know about Nabela:
1. Nabela Is a Proud Muslim-American
In her YouTube vlog titled “Dear America,” Nabela says, “I am an American through and through. And I am also a Muslim.” She talks about her experience after the 9/11 attacks where she was bullied in school and some friends told her they were no longer allowed to spend time with her because she was Muslim. She was 9 years old at the time. Her Facebook page has been hit pretty hard with anti-Muslim sentiments.
Nabela’s other YouTube tale “Draw My Life!” tells us about her early life. She is of Bangladeshi descent but was born in America. Her mother was pregnant with Nabela when they moved to the United States, giving birth on August 4, 1991. Nabela’s mother hid the fact that she was carrying Nabela at the time of her immigration. Revealing this fact has resulted in Nabela being called an “anchor baby.” Immigration is certainly a hot button topic for the 2016 Presidential candidates on the campaign trail, and we will see tonight if one of Nabela’s questions during the debate ties immigration reform to her own experience.
Nabela has raised her voice against Islamophobia and the hate crimes that Muslims face. As her social media presence has grown, so too has the backlash increased against her for speaking about her faith. When it was announced that Nabela would be one of the YouTube personalities asking questions of the candidates at the GOP Iowa debate, many websites decried the choice to invite Nabela to speak at the event. There have also been those sharing their support for Nabela’s message, and Nabela has thanked these people by saying, “Our community needs more allies like you.”
2. She Has Spoken Out Against Donald Trump
Also in her “Dear America” video, Nabela effusively states, “We have a presidential candidate whose loudest message reeks of hatred and Islamophobia.” While she does not directly name Trump as the candidate she is referring to, she continues her impassioned pleas and a meme-style photo comparing Trump to Hitler appears next to her. Nabela also openly supports Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
Trump has previously declared that the United States should prevent Muslims from entering the country, and that mosques should be surveilled. Nabela vlogged that the media portrayals of Islam and the efforts to silence Muslims frighten her. She included a tweet on her video that was incorrectly attributed to Donald Trump attesting to his belief that “Muslims should be treated no differently than sex offenders.” Nabela apologized and added an edit to her vlog post when it was pointed out that this tweet was not made by Donald Trump. It would have been very interesting to see what question Nabela could have posed to Trump had he remained in the lineup for the Republican debate on January 28th.
While Donald Trump has refused to appear at tonight’s debate, citing his frosty relationship with co-moderator Megyn Kelly, there is also wild speculation and gossip that Fox intentionally selected Nabela Noor as a participant to “humiliate” Trump.
3. Her YouTube Videos Focus on Fashion & Beauty Tips
While Nabela has recently wading into more controversial waters with her political activism, her YouTube channel and Instagram account are each filled mostly with fashion, beauty, DIY crafts, and weight loss tutorials and pictures. Her most-viewed YouTube clip talks about DIY gift ideas that you can use for your loved ones for any holiday and has been watched over 885,000 times.
Nabela frequently discusses how her weight has affected her self confidence. She vlogged about losing 30 pounds and then gaining some of the weight back. She also shares her thoughts on recipes and healthy snacks on her YouTube channel. Like many people using social media, her Instagram feed is filled with photos of her meals.
Her candid confessions and honest talk about her food-related struggles have gained her many fans. Nabela’s YouTube Channel has over 146,000 subscribers waiting for her latest makeup tips and do-it-yourself hacks. It was for these everyday stories that Nabela was originally made famous.
4. She Is Married to Seth Martin
Nabela’s husband Seth Martin has taken part in many of her YouTube videos. According to Nabela’s wedding website on The Knot, the nuptials took place on June 14, 2015 in Central Pennsylvania. Nabela has cheekily called her husband a “tall glass of gorgeous white chocolate.” They met when Nabela was taking orders at her parents’ restaurant. Seth proposed during a dinner date when the dessert was brought out. The plate of chocolate covered strawberries had “Will you marry me?” written around the edges, and Nabela accepted.
Nabela has posted many vlogs and photos of her wedding journey, and branched out into DIY wedding tips in the months leading up to her marriage ceremony. The couple started a separate YouTube channel featuring videos of their life together, calling it Being Sethela. On this channel they vlog about their wedding planning, purchasing a home together, and recording Nabela’s music in a studio.
Nabela’s engagement was vastly different from that of her parents, who were the product of an arranged marriage in Bangladesh. Her mother was just 14 years old at the time, while her father was age 17. Nabela’s older sister also agreed to be part of an arranged marriage. Nabela’s parents did not initially approve of her relationship with Seth. Despite their call for a more traditional arranged marriage, Nabela continued to be with Seth until her older sister was able to convince her parents that their love was real.
5. She Recorded a Song ‘All About Love’
Nabela released her debut single ”All About Love” on iTunes in 2013. The song talks about her relationship with Seth and the YouTube caption for the video dedicates the tune to “the man who taught me the definition of unconditional love.”
The song is poppy and in the style of Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato. It features artist Kameron Ray singing additional vocals. Nabela says she began writing “the anthem of her love” when her parents first rejected the idea of her dating now-husband Seth.
Nabela credits her husband Seth with encouraging her to devote her time and effort to her singing and her YouTube channel.