It’s no secret that we live in an era that is substantially built around the digital age. This has allowed us to create a sort of dysfunctional community on social media, a network of platforms that is more influential than any of us can truly imagine. Social media predominantly influences the way we connect with each other and with ‘influencers’ on Instagram, especially those growing and impacting that industry heavily, as it is becoming more and more ubiquitous in our everyday life. Not many of these influencers are benefiting the wider community, so I’ve put together a list of six strong badass women that are shaping the vision and possibility of what it means to be a young powerful Arab woman.
She’s a beauty ‘influencer’ who’s known both on Instagram and Youtube, mostly, and calling Dina ambitious would be an understatement (if not an outright insult to her power). She’s the founder and CEO of the thriving marketing and consulting agency Dash Management and she founded the first beauty conference in Egypt – Dash Beauty Con. I’ve been following her on instagram for a while and one of the things she said that stuck with me was “we don’t settle, we can’t.” As a girl who’s been told on multiple occasions that I’m arguing against a hopeless case, I personally felt relieved to hear someone else tell me that it’s okay. Dina Dash definitely sets the tone for the fearless and powerful Egyptian woman we all wish to be.
Most of you probably already know this social media sensation who’s popular on many different social media platforms including Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. She’s an absolute sweetheart and her videos are famous for their humor and compassion. An Egyptian born and raised in Canada, she shares her daily life and travels with her followers on social media and was nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards 2019 for “Favorite Arab Internet Star.” She’s honest, transparent, and just a breath of fresh air – she’s definitely one of the most accountable people on social media. Sara doesn’t take anyone’s crap, she’s extremely helpful, funny, and downright brilliant. She collaborated with some pretty cool international brands, had her own show on Sadeem, and was part of CNN’s last documentary on Egypt. She’s everything. That’s it. That’s all I have to say.
She’s known as the queen of dance, sharing her love and talent for urban dance on both Instagram and Youtube. She has previously shared many videos of her dance routines and choreography and she also shares her travels and daily experiences with her followers. I have to mention her incredible talent when it comes to mimicking accents and how much I love her impressions. She empowers and educates the community through her dance classes (@intensivesbylayla) where she prides herself on sharing her knowledge while enjoying what she’s doing. She’s also been featured at AUC’s Tedx Talk and she’s co-founder of GPH which helps brands launch and improve their content activity.
This social media queen started her Youtube channel when she was told that to be on television she has to take off her hijab and speak a gulf dialect of Arabic. Being the strong woman she is, she decided to start her own Youtube channel documenting her travels around the world while speaking English and Arabic – a Palestinian dialect to be exact – while wearing her hijab. She prides herself on breaking stereotypes and constantly reminds the world that mainstream media can be wrong. A considerable achievement of hers is a music video called “Stereotype World”, addressing and breaking the stereotypes of middle eastern women in honor of international women’s day that was released two years ago. The video was full of female empowerment and was a call to action to break all forms of sexism. The video was hashtagged #creatorsforchange and I think it’s needless to say that it blew me away. The video empowered women of all ages and “showed the world the real Middle East.”
Watch the video here.
Saufeeya is a Moroccan-American woman bridging the gap between the East and West. A fashion enthusiast who shares her travels all over the world on her Instagram (and her OOTDs of course), she is successfully proving that modest fashion is in rising demand and her feed is beyond aesthetically pleasing. She inspires women with her incredible fashion sense and ability to proudly carry her culture in a confident and modern way. She is a style-icon and has been featured in Vogue among other things. Needless to say, she is easily one of the most inspirational women in the region.
Amy Roko is a Saudi influencer who has ruled multiple social media platforms including Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine. She opposes the ‘norm’ of a niqabi woman by being outgoing, funny and even modeling. She pushes against the cultural barriers and speaks up against sexist views on women. She empowers girls all around the world as a niqabi, strong, active female voice. She has previously shared her aim “to inspire women who struggle to make their own choices become their most authentic self” and has successfully influenced women on a global scale by speaking her mind. Being the furthest thing from a demure doormat (which is the perfect stereotype of Muslim Arab women), Amy has freed so many of us young women from the chains of shame and the shackles of internalized misogyny and islamophobia. This woman is the absolute definition of powerful and it’s undeniable that she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Learning about all these incredible women really opened up my eyes to the fact that there are so many people out there who are helping empower and educate young people everywhere – and it’s incredible. I for one, am so captivated by what these women have done in hopes of helping and shaping our society. So check out their pages, take a look at what these women have done and how they’ve influenced our world. And to all the women who work to inspire, thank you for all that you do and know that you are a symbol of hope and an inspiration to so many young people all around the world.