Getting an Arabic tattoo is all the rage these days, and there are plenty of A-listers that have gotten permanently inked with the ancient language, including Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and now Zayn Malik, who currently has two Arabic tattoos inked on his body. Zayn was born and raised a Muslim, (his father is a Pakistani immigrant) which could explain his affinity for Arabic tattoos, but the singer also sports a tattoo of a yin-yang symbol, which is commonly associated with both Buddhist and Chinese teachings. The yin-yang symbol is far more mainstream these days though, and there’s a good chance that the Arabic language means more to Zayn than just an excuse to get a trendy tattoo design.
Zayn’s Grandfather’s Name in Arabic
On the right side of his chest, just below the “Friday?” tattoo on his collarbone, Zayn Malik has a black and white tattoo that reads “Walter” in Arabic. Walter is Zayn’s grandfather on his mother’s side, who passed away while Zayn was auditioning for The X Factor. The meaningful chest tattoo was inked in December 2010 and was the very first of Zayn Malik’s tattoos. It appears that Zayn and his maternal grandfather were very close, considering Walter’s death led the singer to get inked for the very first time. Interestingly enough, Zayn’s grandfather is of Irish descent, so it’s not entirely clear why he chose the Arabic language to honor Walter.
“Be True to Who You Are” Arabic Quote on Zayn’s Chest
In April 2012, Zayn showed off his second Arabic tattoo, which is inked across his left collarbone. The singer debuted the chest tattoo on Twitter, along with the caption: “For every1 asking what the new tatt means it says be true to who you are.” The deep meaning behind Zayn Malik’s tattoo may have something to do with the difficulties the singer faced in school, being his background is a mixture of Anglican Christian and Muslim. He apparently had to change schools a number of times until he felt comfortable. According to Zayn, “I almost felt like I didn’t fit in at my first two schools because I was the only mixed heritage kid in my class. When my sister and I moved to a different school it was a lot more mixed so I felt like I fitted in better.”