Authorities in the Gulf states are wrestling with the rise of social media stars, regulating their use of social platforms while simultaneously trying to capitalize on their fame.
Marwa Fakih is a research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Prior to joining AGSIW, she worked as a research scholar at the Institute of Religious Culture and Public Life at Columbia University and with the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch.
For her master’s thesis, Fakih studied media technology in Saudi Arabia and focused on new forms of production and reception of Saudi popular culture via YouTube, analyzing the sociocultural significance of populist YouTube production by situating it within the history of media technology since its first introduction in Saudi Arabia.
Fakih earned her master’s in sociocultural anthropology and a certificate in Middle Eastern studies from Columbia University. She received her bachelor ‘s in applied medical science from King Saud University.
AGSIW spoke with the team behind Sheno Ya3ni, or so what? – a YouTube channel run by a group of Kuwaiti comedians – to learn how they have benefitted from using an online platform and how YouTube and social media affect cultural criticism in the region.
AGSIW spoke with Ali al-Awadhi, executive manager of Nabta, to learn about the Blue Lake Farm and agritourism in Kuwait.
When Muhannad Shono began his career Saudi's creative economy was not a domain to be celebrated in the kingdom.
Amaani Yahya might not be the first Yemeni woman to rap, but she is one of the first to use the artform to try to reach people outside Yemen.