Travel vlogger changes stereotypes about Arab women


Saudi Gazette

Storytelling in the digital world has a powerful influence in connecting the world and breaking stereotypes. For travel influencer Haifa Beseisso, her YouTube channel documents her adventurous trips around the world, offering her the chance to also exchange knowledge about her culture with locals.

A rare Arab female vlogger amid the social media influencers in the region, she gained popularity with over 380,000 subscribers to her channel ‘Fly with Haifa’, a library of colorful videos of her visits to islands, wildlife, and cultural experiences, among others.

“The content I share on my social media platforms reflects the reality I see in front of me,” she says. “It shows the world as is and opens people’s eyes on matters that they are not familiar with or had an incorrect misconception about. The messages I receive from my non-Arab audience are heartwarming as they break these assumptions and explore the true value of my travels.”

Haifa, now representing Canon’s #Liveforthestory campaign in the Middle East, invited a young audience to share moments of their life as part of the company’s brand re-launch. Three winners - Yousra Mahdi from Jordan, Fouad Mofleh from UAE and Sabine K.Sebaali from Lebanon – have been selected to travel with her to Oman, Jordan and Morocco and will join her in upcoming videos.

Haifa added, “I believe with the power of the Internet and social media each person owns a mic and a platform, it is an open communication, a creative dialogue that one can have with their audience which makes it really powerful and beautiful!”

Her audience, mainly youth between the ages of 17 and 35, are from various countries, including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey.

Asked about her impact on social media, she said: “I was able to change stereotypes that have accompanied Arab Muslim women for centuries. I showed that women have a voice that should be heard loud and clear, and they have a choice to pursue their hearts’ greatest desire, and the power to make anything happen.”

On her future goals, she says she’ll continue to travel but may also write a book or host a TV show.