Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born on February 2, 1977 in
Barranquilla, Colombia. She is the only child of Nidia del
Carmen Ripoll Torrado, a Colombian of Catalan-Italian
descent, and William Mebarak Chadid, an American-born
Catholic of Lebanese descent. Her father also had eight
children with his former wife. One of her siblings is also
her road manager.
Shakira, which means "grateful"
or "thankful" (شاكِرة)
in Arabic, is named after her paternal grandmother. She
spent much of her youth in Barranquilla. She has stated to
have grown among Lebanese, Jewish and Italian communities.