New YouTube hub for Arab female creators launched


By Shahd Alhamdan

RIYADH — YouTube has launched ‘Batala’, a new hub for its female YouTubers in the Middle East and North Africa, in the hope of filling a lack of female Arab content on the platform and support female creators. The new hub would also help audiences and users to discover their favorite channels and learn more about several talented female YouTube creators.

YouTube held the ‘Batala’ event in the Capital to support these creators and to give them a chance to present their journey since their debut on the YouTube.

YouTube’s recent launch event for the platform included workshops about how to create a channel on Youtube, tips for grabbing people’s attention, and tips for producing videos and content.

Batala channel has more than 1,000 videos covering several topics, including education, lifestyle, travel, social topics, and more. It features more than 100 creators from more than nine countries, with most of the creators based in the Kingdom.

Many female Gulf and Saudi creators, such as Njoud Al-Shammari, Al-Juhara Sajer, Hessa Al-Awad, and Ashwaq Al-Maskary talked about their experience since presenting their videos on YouTube.

Participants at the launch of ‹Batala›, a new hub for female YouTubers in Riyadh, Monday. — Courtesy photo
Participants at the launch of ‹Batala›, a new hub for female YouTubers in Riyadh, Monday. — Courtesy photo

They mentioned several factors behind their current success, including family support, audiences’ appreciation, passion for what they are doing, patience, and creativity.

Al-Juhara Sajer, who started her channel in 2012, said that one of the worst comments she received was that she should stop what she was doing because her place was in the kitchen, despite the fact that she did not initially show her face in her videos. But she continued to post on the platform, and today has around 410,000 subscribers.

She started her channel when she was sick, at home for a while after watching several videos on YouTube.

Saudi female creator, Njoud Al-Shammari, joined YouTube in 2015 and has around 848,000 subscribers today. She said that many people have criticized her because she appears with her brothers in some of her videos. Her videos range from comedy and tips to fun tutorials.

Ashwaq Al-Maskary, a creator from Oman, wanted to deliver a different message. Her message says there was no need for a woman with uncovered face to be successful on YouTube.

She has never bared her face on camera snd she is covering traveling topics, videos about her life and her mission to spread positivity.
Head of YouTube Partnerships, MENA, Diana Baddar, said: “The Batala event definitely far exceeded my expectations. Just looking at the people with us here to meet their heroes to me is a phenomenon. Because I have never expected four years ago, when I started at YouTube that we would have an event solely focused on our female creators, who are mostly from Saudi Arabia and see their fans here to support them. So I am very proud of what of female creators have accomplished.”