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Mideast & North Africa


Discovering a new generation of Arabic speaking women creators on YouTube Batala

Everyday, millions of people come to YouTube to watch all kinds of videos. Some come to pass the time, others come seeking answers and helpful tips in their everyday life. With time, many also begin setting up YouTube channels to bring their ideas to life, share their knowledge with their communities, or even discuss ideas they believe in. 

While many stop creating after a short while, even more stay and end up building communities of hundreds of thousands of subscribers across a massive range of topics.  As of today you will be able to find more than 250 of these powerful channels on Batala, a hub by YouTube dedicated to helping you find some of the most talented Arabic-speaking women on our platform and showcasing the next generation of women creators on YouTube. We built this hub to be a useful and easy to navigate reference.

The channels were selected based on several factors such as how often they upload content to their channels, the impact their channels have, and the quality of the content they make. In 2016, the number of women-led creators with more than one million subscribers stood at five, that’s also when YouTube first launched the Batala project parallel to other creator-focused events and initiatives designed to support women creators on the platform. Today, there are more than 150 women-led channels with more than one million subscribers in the Middle East and North Africa.

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What I have found to be most striking is just how diverse the women creator community is on YouTube. Arab women on YouTube are not confining themselves to the same content but are using their YouTube channels to create communities around a variety of interests. Meshael from Saudi Arabia and Kafa from Tunisia are two people leading a community of women gamers on YouTube. Manola, also from Saudi Arabia is taking lifestyle content to the next level by not just reviewing clothes or posing in them but by also making them. While Nedal from Egypt has managed to bring a community of book lovers together to discuss books and even started a virtual book club through her YouTube Channel. 

Another thing we’ve noticed is how layered these channels are. For example, take Abeer Sinder from Saudi Arabia. In between videos about makeup and hair tutorials you will also find honest conversations about motherhood, our beauty standards, and her experience dealing with hateful and racist comments.  Or take Saba Shamma from Jordan, a talented singer who also loves to make videos with her friends and try out ambitious recipes. 
Abeer and Saba are one of the hundreds of women who are redefining the art of video in the Arabic speaking world. I invite you to meet as many of these women as possible, hear their stories, and join us in celebrating their work on Batala. We hope this program helps inspire girls and women to express themselves and tell their stories, and share the ideas and thoughts that make them who they are. You may become our new Batala! 

A collage of nine women.

Here’s more about some of the creators you will find on Batala, in their own words:  
Manola Saudi ArabiaManola's charm is in her hands. Her love for fashion transcends discussions on trends and clothing hauls, where she goes the extra mile to create her favorite items and styles.One video to catch on her channel: I made a corset with table cloth
KafaTunisia Kafa is among our growing gaming rockstars in the region. The Arabic gaming creator community is one of the most powerful and quickly growing communities in the world. Kafa from Tunisia is one of the women carving out a space for women creators in the gaming creator community.One video watch on her channel: A girl challenges Syblus for the first time
Nedal Reads EgyptWith her videos, Nidal creates meaningful discussions about the books she reads. She summarizes the books bringing their ideas to life through the community of hundreds of thousands of subscribers who watch her channel. One video to catch on her channel: About my book club
Reem Animations Jordan Reem is redefining vlogging on YouTube. She comes in with a fresh take to the realm where she draws and animates her life and experiences, in a creative and witty way.One video to catch on her channel: My life story
Basma Dash Egypt Basma is an Egyptian creator based out of the UAE. Her channel is home to a range of videos about everything from beauty experiments and advice, to what it's like being a new mother and having a quickly growing family.One video to catch on her channel: A day in the life of a new mom and dad

Make sure to subscribe and join this rich and diverse community of women. You can find us on the Batala hashtag:  #بطلة_يوتيوب

We’re also collaborating with, a magazine dedicated to telling stories about Arab women to highlight some of the creators featured on the Batala hub. On November 10, we will be hosting a talk with four of the creators featured on Batala about the realities and challenges behind being a woman creator on YouTube.