This woman was born in a Syrian Refugee camp - now she's a Hollywood star

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Monday 16 October 2017 12:45
Celebrities
Picture:(Nouri/Instagram screengrabs)

Vivian Nouri is a singer and performer in Hollywood, but she began life in a Syrian refugee camp 24 years ago.

Now living in Los Angeles, Nouri has already recorded a song for the soundtrack of Hollywood film, Daddy's Home 2.

Speaking to UniLad, her 27-year-old sister Jennifer explained that before Vivian was born, a bomb destroyed the family home in Iraq during the Kurdish uprising.

In 1991 after the gulf war and during the Kurdish uprising in Northern Iraq our house was destroyed by a bomb and so my mother fled with me and my eldest sister at the time.

After the house was destroyed by a bomb and we fled, my mum said a lot of people died of hypothermia or starvation because it was a long trip to Iran.

It was snowing in the mountains at the time, so we had to walk through the mountains. We did the whole journey by foot.

I was seven months at the time so our mother carried us.

About two million Kurds went towards Turkey and the other half went towards Iran and subsequently we were living in a refugee camp and that’s where Viv was born in 1993.

Jennifer and her family fled to Iran in 1991, and then she, another sister, and their mother made their way on foot to the Syrian refugee camp where Vivian was born.

She grew up in a Syrian refugee camp.

What I remember about it is that we lived in a tent and my mum would walk a long way everyday to fetch water with one of us with her.

That’s how much I remember of it. She’s our main inspiration.

We’ve all gone on to do big things and it’s all thanks to her.

In 1995 they were granted refugee status in New Zealand, where Vivian began a career as a singer from a young age.

According to Nouri's Instagram, she once performed for the country's prime minister when she was around 15 or 16-years-old.

In February 2017, Vivian quit her job and quit studying IT, to go to Los Angeles to pursue her career in music.

She sent YouTube clips of herself performing to the producer Brian Kennedy, and from that got the opportunity to record a song for Paramount Studios.

She told UniLad

This one morning [Paramount executive] Jason rang me and asked if I would be able to sing a song.

He sent it to my email and before I even listened to it I just said yes and then learned it in an hour and then met him at the studio.

The studio that we were at, the engineer showed me photos of where Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie had recorded albums.

I just felt like it was crazy and it really got me in the mood.

The Christmas song they gave me had an Amy Winehouse kind of vibe so I warmed up with an Amy song and then sang the song and they loved it.

Then a week later I got an email saying the song was locked into the movie.

The song is set to feature in Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg film Daddy's Home 2.

She added.

Being from my refugee background and coming to Hollywood is really humbling.

Coming from where I come from, I don’t think you could ever not be humble.

That’s what drives me to want it even more, you’ve got people who say bad things, but I really don’t give a s***.

I’m in a good place and I know the right people, and I’m very humbled to be in this position.

Nouri is an independent artist, yet to be signed by any label and owes her inspiration to her mother.

HT UniLad

More: The single mother who opened her home to refugees 'and doesn't regret it for a moment'

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