Yara is the new regional face of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), with the Lebanese singer named ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa.
She follows the likes of musical compatriot Nancy Ajram, who also took on the position in 2009.
As part of her role, Yara, 37, will represent Unicef’s initiatives in the region with a focus on spreading credible information regarding Covid-19 and appropriate safety measures.
While accepting her ambassadorship over a video conference from her home in Dubai, Yara expressed her awareness of the responsibilities regarding the role.
"I hope I can live up to them because what they do means a lot to me," she says. "I look forward to working with Unicef to advance children's issues across the region."
Who is Yara?
Born Carla Nazih Al-Berkashi in the Lebanese village of Deir el Ahmar, her career followed the traditional route to Arab pop stardom.
After winning the television talent quest Kass el Noujoum in 1998 under her real name, Yara was mentored by Lebanese composer Tarek Abou Jaoude, who gave her the stage moniker, as well composing the majority of her 2005 debut album Twassa Feyi.
Since then, she's gone on to build a consistent career with three more albums that have seen her take on a variety of different styles.
In 2009, she made waves in the Gulf region by releasing the album La'ale' Khalijiya. Translated to Khaleeji Nights, the release found her achieving the rare feat of dedicating a whole album to Khaleeji pop.
The move was instigated after her 2007 single Sodfa was well-received, with producers stating her voice was perfectly pitched to sing in the Khaleeji style.
Ever since, Yara has continued to be a hit with Arab audiences and has performed regularly in the region. In May, she held an online concert for the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), as well as a Sharjah Eid concert at the Al Majaz Amphitheatre.
In August, she also joined Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi in headlining Dubai Opera’s first concert since the venue closed in March due to the pandemic.
She loves Barcelona star Lionel Messi
With interests as eclectic as her work, Yara appeared on the Dubai Cruise programme in May, where she cited Kuwaiti songstress Nawal Al Kuwaiti and Emirati diva Ahlam as inspirations.
Yara also shares a friendly rivalry with singer Elissa. While both hail from the same village, the duo's football passions are diametrically opposed.
Where Elissa is a proud fan of Spanish club Real Madrid, Yara is a supporter of arch rivals Barcelona.
"I watch a lot of their matches," she said on the sidelines of the 2016 Mawazine Festival in the Rabat, Morocco. "I would just love it if Messi would be in one of my songs. If he ever comes to Morocco for any events you make sure you let me know and I will fly over straight away."
While that remains a dream at this stage, Yara’s new role with Unicef proves she is kicking goals where it counts.