Alia Shawkat

Alia Shawkat at the "Arrested Development" Los Angeles Premiere,

Shawkat in 2013, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: Alia Martine Shawkat

Place of Birth: Riverside, California, United States

Date of Birth: April 18, 1989

*50% Iraqi
*25% Norwegian
*12.5% Irish
*12.5% Sicilian/Italian/Arbëreshë

Alia Shawkat is an American actress and artist. Her roles include the films The Final Girls, Green Room, and The To Do List, and the shows Search Party and Drunk History.

Her father was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and is a Muslim. Her mother is of one quarter Irish, one quarter Sicilian/Italian/Arbëreshë, and one half Norwegian, ancestry. Alia’s father is sometimes described as being of Kurdish background. It is not clear if this is accurate. In interviews, Alia describes her father simply as being of Arab descent (for example, here and here).

Alia has one child.

Alia’s maternal grandfather was Paul Burke, an actor (Paul Raymond Burke, the son of Martin Joseph Burke and Santa Maria Palermo). Paul was born in Louisiana. Martin was the son of Martin Patrick Burke and Mary Julia Finnerty, who were Irish, from Galway. Santa was the daughter of parents from Italy, Paolo/Paul Proietto Palermo and Nicolina Liuzza. Paolo was Arbëreshë, from Santa Cristina Gela (Arbëresh: Sëndahstina), an Arbëreshë village in the province of Palermo, Sicily. He was the son of Giuseppe Palermo and Giovanna Musacchia.

Alia’s maternal grandmother was Alice Louise “Peggy” Wikan (the daughter of John Andreas/Andrew Ovesen Wikan and Fredricka/Fredrikke Marie “Freda” Fredriksdatter Hellesfiord). Alice was born in Wisconsin, to Norwegian parents. John was born in Vikan, Smøla, Møre og Romsdal, the son of Ove Ovesen Næbb/Wikan and Elen Andreasdatter Nelvik. Fredricka was born in Hellesfjord, Smøla, Møre og Romsdal, Edøy, the daughter of Fredrik Jakobsen Rosvoll and Marie Gurine Johansdatter Gjøstøl.


Genealogy of Alia Shawkat (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy and obituary of Alia’s maternal grandfather, Paul Burke –

Marriage record of Alia’s maternal great-grandparents, Martin Joseph Burke and Santa Maria Palermo –

28 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    In this article, a woman named Lisa says her maternal grandfather was Arberesh. Her grandfather was Charles/Saverio Palermo, and he was the brother of Paolo Palermo, Alia’s great-great-grandfather. Their parents were Giuseppe Palermo and Giovanna Musacchia.

  2. Ten52 says:

    She always talks about her Arab heritage and is very proud to be an Arab. Her dad is an Arab from Iraq.

  3. sondheim says:

    Whiter than the average portuguese

  4. ashash says:

    I think she’s gorgeous. Proof that biracials are better-looking.

  5. madman says:

    Maybe it should say:
    *6.25% Italian (Sicilian)
    *6.25% likely Arbëreshë

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.