From Nikolas Khoury to Salam Katanani, These Arab Content Creators Are Redefining Arts and Culture
By Banah Khamis
Content creators have a powerful tool at their hands; they have a platform that gives them the leverage of reaching a great number of people who they can easily influence using the content they choose to share with them. But it’s not just about the number of followers, a content creator has to have a certain kind of determination to succeed, and choose the type of content to address and attract the attention of the world to make a true difference, because delivering meaningful content is a huge responsibility that could impact nations, cultures, and change the perspective of a generation. And now we’re glad that more than ever we’re witnessing Arab content creators using their platforms to raise awareness by shedding light on topics that were once regarded as “taboo”, breaking the cycle of silence and paving the way for a more enlightened generation.
Salam Katanani self-produces her own videos where she discusses various topics that range from cultural and social phenomena to past scientific wonders. She makes it a point to offer a fresh perspective on the kind of topics she chooses through a scientific lens.
Recently, Katanani touched on prevalent topics such as the science behind the Beirut explosion, racism, and fate. In one way or another, Salam makes complex topics seem palatable through using her own youthful sense of comedy to present the content lightly.
Jordanian content creator and comedian, Nikolas Khoury, had his start in 2013 as a rapper where he discussed the low standards of living in the Arab world. After a change in his career path and several endeavors in comedy, including his work on N2O Comedy, Nikolas finally chose to become the presenter of the AJ+ political satire show, السليط الإخباري that initially aired in 2016 and is still running till today. The show went from five-minute episodes to 20-minute episodes, speaking directly to Arab youth and pushes boundaries for the voice of Arabs on public mediums.
Maria Elayan is the young host of the show ‘Smi’touha Minni’ on Khateera. On her show, and even on her personal page, Maria tackles taboo issues and cultural topics that are rarely spoken of so openly, such as gender roles, domestic violence, and honor killings. After a scarcity of voices speaking in such a manner, it is refreshing for Arab audiences to have Maria tackle topics like these.
Palestinian-American influencer, Suhbi Taha, first stepped into the scene of content creating on Youtube, posting videos about Muslims in today’s world, growing up in the US as a half Filipino half Palestinian man, and his day-to-day life in general. Now Subhi has his own clothing brand, Dār Collective, which he designs himself, beautifully influenced by Islam and his Palestinian heritage.