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Dina Shihabi Is a Prominent Actress & Starred in 'Archive 81' Thanks to Her Mom Who Fought for Her Interests

Laura Beatham
Jan 17, 2022
03:50 A.M.
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Actress Dina Shihabi's career started with her passion for dance as a young girl. However, her father was not always supportive of Shihabi's career choice and performances. 


"Jack Ryan" actress Dina Shihabi was born in Saudi Arabia. Later her family moved to Dubai as Saudi Arabia has strict rules for women and girls. According to the actress, it was illegal for her to participate in sports as a young girl. 

The harsh Saudi Arabian laws prompted a vital conversation between Shihabi's father and mother about where Shihabia would grow up. Finally, her mother offered her father an ultimatum as Shihabi once explained:

"My parents had a really important conversation about where [I would grow up], my mom even said to my dad, "If you don't let her [follow her dreams], I'll divorce you." "

Dina Shihabi pictured in a still from her latest project "Archive 81," 2022 [Left] Shihabi as Melody in a trailer for "Archive 81," 2022. | Photo: Instagram/shihabidina & YouTube/Netflix


So the family relocated to Dubai, where Shihabi found her passion for dance, as she joined Sharmila Kamte's dance company. Although her mother supported her interest in dance, her father was less understanding. 

At 12 years old, Shihabi told her parents she would be a professional dancer. Her father was not supportive of his daughter's dancing dreams. However, her mother became an advocate for Shihiabi and "fought [her] battles behind the scenes for [her]."


Dancing was a fantastic outlet for the actress and led her to act. Eventually, her childhood passion led her to New York, where her career in the entertainment industry started. 

Shihabi's first career move included dancing on "Saturday Night Live" and appearing in a few digital shorts. Later she was accepted to study at two prestigious schools, NYU and Julliard. 


After graduating from the acting graduate program at NYU's Tisch School of Arts, Shihai moved to Los Angeles and quickly landed the role of Hanin in "Jack Ryan" and a role in "Altered Carbon."

However, the "Jack Ryan" role led to some family tension as her father tweeted that he was disappointed that his daughter was in a nude scene in the pilot episode. He expressed that it did not reflect the family's values. 


The since-deleted tweet came after he tweeted a positive review about Shihabi's performance from a Daily Beast review that was otherwise unimpressed with the Amazon series. 

Despite her father's public shaming of her acting decision, Shihabi has continued to create a name for herself. Her latest project is Netflix's thriller "Archive 81." In the show, she plays Melody, a graduate student trying to uncover the mysterious origins of an apartment building.