Social media has become integrated into our everyday lives to an ever greater extent than traditional media like TV, radio, and print was for our parents and grandparents. Following the lives and careers of people we admire, reading their posts and stories to inspire you to become the best possible version of yourself is a daily occurrence for many.
Instagram and other social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter have a significant influence on social trends and influences what we buy, how we dress, where we vacation, and many other aspects of our lives. In the past, we were influenced by celebrities in movies, TV shows, and advertising. Today there is a new generation of social media influencers that impact us through the use of Instagram and other social media. Instagram influencers, for example, come from various walks of life with different interests, backgrounds, and jobs and share content that reflects their lifestyles and the products and services they use.
They know what they like, why they like it and share their experiences with the world. Let’s take a look at 12 Arab women who are dominating Instagram in 2023.
#1 – Renee Farah
Renee Farah is a Lebanese TV presenter based in Dubai. She started her career as a TV anchor presenting several shows on major networks like Rotana, and Abu Dhabi TV. Being in the media industry, it didn’t take long for Renee to become an instant social media sensation.
She has accumulated well over a million followers through Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, and shares daily doses of fashion and beauty tips in addition to fun and entertaining videos.
Renee is well known on social media for her engaging makeup and skincare tutorials, and never misses the chance to share her passion for the latest fashion trends with her community.
#2 – Deema Al Asadi
Say hello to Deema Al Asadi, one the of the Middle East’s top lifestyle and fashion bloggers. Born in Iraq and based in Dubai, she originally majored in dentistry before becoming an Instagram star.
According to Deema, the transition happened purely by chance. “I started posting my outfits because I love inspiring others, then I realized people wanted to know more. So, I began giving style tips.” Deema says. Known for her incredible personality, super chic wardrobe, and amazing looks, she is also a new mother who shares her journey on motherhood with her followers.
Deema takes her role as a social media influencer very seriously, emphasizing that “We have to be careful in our choices and honest with our reviews”.
#3 – Tamara Jamal
Tamara Jamal is a Lebanese social media personality and TV presenter who was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. She has attracted hundreds of thousands of women from the GCC and all across the Middle East through her love for beauty, fashion, traveling, and obviously TV presenting.
Having earned a solid name in the fashion and beauty community, Tamara is currently the face in International fashion weeks in London, Paris, and Milan. She has previously secured projects with brands like Bulgari, Rolls Royce, Huawei, Sephora, and BMW to name a few. She is also a brand ambassador working closely with the Dubai Tourism Authority on key retail events happening in the city.
Her presence in the region has grabbed the attention of major media publications such as Vogue Arabia, Grazia Middle East, Cosmopolitan, and Sayidaty. Tamara is currently working on launching her very first brand in Dubai, taking her into the rewarding world of entrepreneurship.
#4 – Salama Mohamed
If you’ve heard of Khalid Al Ameri, famous for his videos of motivation and positivity, then you most certainly know his wife, Salama Mohamed. Salama is a well reputable Emirati entrepreneur that leads by example and is an inspiration to many young Arab women.
From a young age, Salama succeeded not only in starting a family, but also in establishing several successful businesses, among which her very own fine pearls jewelry line. Being a mother of two didn’t stop this aspiring young Emirati from pursuing her personal dreams, and for years she has empowered women through sharing her true personality, struggles, and teaching them that they can be perfect in every way.
Salama continuously spreads positivity and smiles through her Instagram posts and doesn’t shy away from sharing her life with her beautiful family with her followers.
#5 – Fatma Husam
Fatma Husam is a 29-year-old, Dubai-born modest fashion influencer. She holds a BBA in Aviation Management and started her journey with modest clothing at a time when it was yet to be in style.
Fatma proudly took part in spreading this “less cool” regional way of dressing, to what is now a global industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars. She aims to continue supporting this growth and make it the “cooler” way of dressing. Her career inspired the inauguration of her own jewelry brand, MAS Jewels.
Always seeking to support local businesses, she strongly believes in women empowerment and the ability for women to inspire change throughout the world.
#6 – Mayada Sleiman
Mayada Sleiman is Instagram’s Lebanese sweetheart. Her approachable personality and genuine character shine through every post and story, granting her a very loyal fan base from all over the Arab world. She’s also the representation of the modern mother, being a young mother of two beautiful boys herself.
Mayada loves inspiring other women into revealing their own true self and encouraging them to never shy away from their true identity. In her own words, Mayada says “Love yourself the way you are, believe in yourself, follow your dreams no matter how big or small they might be, and if you fail try again and again even if no one believes in you”.
Mayada also loves to experiment with the newest beauty and fashion trends, but is always keen on showing her own personal taste: “In fashion, make sure to check out all available trends and styles but always choose what suits you and what flatters your body and reflects your personality”.
#7 – Paola El Sitt
Paola El Sitt, professionally known as Mlle Paola, is a Lebanese digital influencer, as well as a fashion and beauty entrepreneur. With a dual degree in Mass Communication, and Advertising & Marketing, Paola managed to establish a solid career in the fashion industry.
Her entrepreneurial journey began in 2016, when she launched her online platform “MllePaola.com” which serves as a hub for local and international fashion and beauty brands. She even launched her own fragrance in 2018 called “MP by Mlle Paola” which gained immediate regional traction. Paola has appeared on the red carpet for countless events, and has worked with brands like Maybelline, Piaget, L’Oreal, and NYX to name a few.
With the current economic difficulties facing Lebanon, Paola recently relocated to Dubai in hopes to “reinvent her vision”. Her Instagram feed is rich in motivation, fashion advice, and inspiration for women.
#8 – Noor Odeh
Originally Palestinian, Noor Odeh is an online fashion influencer that was born and raised in Abu Dhabi. In an exclusive conversation with Tech Magazine, Noor says “Fashion and beauty have always been a passion of mine. Six years ago, I started posting my daily looks on my private Instagram account for fun. After a while, a brand contacted me to work with them and requested my account to be on public to proceed. I agreed and little did I know, I was going to make a career out of it. The best part about it is that I absolutely love what I do”.
Noor recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Eliana, and has been sharing all sorts of topics related to motherhood with her community. During quarantine, she’s been sharing her love for cooking and baking by posting delicious recipes and mouth-watering dishes.
Noor’s account is filled with valuable content ranging from fashion and beauty, to lifestyle and motherhood.
#9 – Mais Mustafa
Based in Dubai, Mais Mustafa is an Iraqi wife, mother, and social media influencer. The 34-year-old computer engineer decided to quit her job and join the world of social media. To her luck, she managed to succeed in doing so!
She enjoys making content for her community with a primary focus on lifestyle, but also finds the time to create posts related to fashion, makeup, motherhood, and even cooking. In her own words, Mais tells us “The world of social media is not as easy as it looks, it goes through ups and downs and there is a lot of competition nowadays. The most important thing for is to always be yourself and don’t try too hard, let it come naturally”.
#10 – Rita Dahdah Fawaz
Rita Dahdah is a Lebanese fashion and lifestyle influencer residing between Beirut and Doha. She started her first blog in 2010, sharing her take on social satire, relationship advice, personal experiences, individuality, and feminism. In parallel, she wrote fashion and lifestyle columns and articles for various online and print magazines and her style has been featured in several of the region’s leading magazines and TV networks.
Already a marketing major, she followed her life-long love for fashion and attended a fashion styling program at FIT NYC in 2013, then began expanding her reach on Instagram in the same year. She strives to encourage individuality, spread positivity, share her travels, thoughts, and her take on style, empower women, as well as promote talented, up and coming designers. Rita currently collaborates with international and local brands, people, and organizations she believes in and are related to her lifestyle and brand and is in the process of launching her new vlog.
A first-time mother, Rita also supports humanitarian causes and NGOs like UNICEF, especially those related to children. In addition, Rita has given seminars and workshops about influencer marketing in both Beirut and Cairo, and collaboratively designed her own scarf in 2016, and jewelry capsule collection in 2019.
#11 – Mia Hashem
Mia Hashem is a Lebanese certified personal trainer based in Beirut and has an Instagram account that will leave you nothing but motivated. The 26-year-old has a passion for fitness and has been promoting the latest in sportswear fashion for the past three years.
Mia likes to consider herself a globetrotter, traveling all over the world, seeing new places, meeting new faces, and trying out exquisite foods. Seeing that most of the world is under quarantine, Mia has been giving one-on-one training sessions to clients virtually via online platforms and video calls. She says that a lot of people are finding this helpful, including herself.
In a word with Tech Magazine, Mia said “We are passing through a hard time that will test our patience, creating the best version of ourselves by testing our limits. We must follow the CDC guidelines, remain hopeful, and this too shall pass. Phone your loved ones, your friends, hug your pets, spring clean your homes, and remain positive! Remember to exercise and eat healthy, it is extremely essential to get this into your daily routine as it will help your body and soul”.
#12 – Clara Abou Nassar
Clara Abou Nassar is an upcoming Instagram sensation. The 25-year-old Lebanese/Canadian is a licensed dietitian, a certified personal trainer, and will stop at nothing to get you in shape.
Her fitness journey began three years ago when she first joined the gym, and started using social media to share nutritional tips, workout ideas and promoting gym looks and sportswear. “My goal is to retain my feminine looks, to be toned and lean, and help others achieve their health goals as well” Clara says. She has even created a 12-week beginner’s workout program called “my booty and body toning program” that comes with a detailed diet plan tailored in a way that suits all body types for women.
In the future, Clara plans on opening her own diet kitchen for healthy catering, and to launch her own website filled with workout plans as well as diet plans. She adds “This way I will be able to help more people achieve their goal and I’ll always remind them that everyone is able to reach their fitness goals, all you need is motivation to stick to the right plan”.
If you are not currently following these Arab women on Instagram, you probably should be. Sharing their experiences, background, passion, projects, and more not only gives you a peek into their everyday lives but might just inspire you to be the best version of yourself. These inspiring Arab women reveal their true selves and encourage others to pursue their hopes and dreams. As Mayada Sleiman says, “Love yourself the way you are, believe in yourself, follow your dreams no matter how big or small they might be”.
Threads: Everything You Should Know About The Twitter Alternative
Discover Threads, the new microblogging platform by Meta that’s set to redefine the social media landscape and present an innovative alternative to Twitter.
Remember when Myspace was the ruler of the social media realm? At the time, it seemed unimaginable that another platform could usurp its throne. Yet, the social media landscape is dynamic, always ready to surprise us with the next big thing. Now, the world is abuzz with the emergence of Threads, Meta’s response to Twitter.
But what is Threads, and how does it set itself apart from Twitter? Join us as we explore this exciting new platform.
What Is Threads By Meta Platforms?
Threads is a social media and networking service brought to you by Meta Platforms, known for its heavyweights Facebook and Instagram. Much like Twitter, the service focuses on short-form text-based posts, but images, videos, and links are also supported. As you would expect, users can engage with posts through replies, reposts, and likes, making Threads a hub for conversations about trending topics.
Threads didn’t just appear out of nowhere, it has a fascinating backstory. When Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022 and started stirring the social media pot with his changes, Meta employees huddled together to cook up an alternative. The initial idea was Instagram Notes, a text-based feature for Instagram. Soon after, they began to envision a separate, independent app focused on text, and that’s how Threads was born.
Developed under the codename “Project 92 (P92)”, the existence of this new platform remained under wraps until March. It then took another three months until Threads was released on July 6th in one hundred countries.
Very soon after its launch, Threads has shown that it’s a force to be reckoned with. In the first two hours, it pulled in a staggering 2 million users. By the time it crossed its fifth day, Threads had amassed an astounding 100 million users.
Even ChatGPT, known for its quick adoption, took two whole months to reach the same milestone. While Threads still has some way to go to surpass Twitter with its 350 million monthly active users, this initial surge is impressive, to say the least, and it will be interesting to watch if the moment lasts.
Where Is Meta’s Threads Available?
At the time of writing this article, Threads isn’t available everywhere. Notably, the platform has yet to land in the European Union. That’s because Meta doesn’t want to risk non-compliance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act.
The EU’s Digital Markets Act is an encompassing regulation that sets the rules for digital platform gatekeepers. These gatekeepers are platforms with a considerable impact on the internal market, serving as a crucial link between businesses and their end users. The purpose of this act is to ensure that these gatekeeper platforms do not impose unfair conditions on businesses and end users, as well as to maintain the openness of vital digital services.
Non-compliance with the Digital Markets Act could result in severe sanctions. For instance, the European Commission can impose fines up to 10% of the offending company’s total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% for repeated infringements. It can also impose periodic penalty payments up to 5% of the company’s total worldwide daily turnover. In case of systematic infringements, the Commission can take more drastic steps, such as obliging a gatekeeper to sell a business.
Besides the EU, Threads also isn’t available in Iran because the country’s government has blocked the platform, adding it to the country’s long list of censored social media platforms.
Surprisingly, Threads is available in China, and it’s currently trending there as one of the most downloaded social media apps, along with Sina Weibo, WeChat, Tencent QQ, Zhihu, Youku, TikTok, and others.
How To Access And Use Threads In Europe
So you’re in Europe and can’t wait to join the Threads conversation? Fortunately, there’s a way around the geo-restrictions. However, it requires a few additional steps.
In order to access Threads on your iOS device from the EU or any other place where the social media service isn’t available yet, you’ll need to switch your App Store country to one where Threads is accessible. Here’s how:
- Start by opening your Settings app. Your Apple ID name should be displayed at the very top of the screen — tap on it.
- Scroll down until you find Media & Purchases and tap on it. A pop-up menu will appear at the bottom of your screen. Select View Account from the menu. It may prompt you to log in at this point.
- You’ll then see an option for Country/Region — tap on it. Note that if you have active subscriptions, you’ll be required to cancel them before switching countries.
- Confirm your decision to change your country/region. After selecting your desired country (one where Threads is available), you’ll be directed to the Terms & Conditions page. Give it a quick glance over and then hit Agree.
- The last step requires you to input a new billing address and payment method applicable to the country you’ve selected. Make sure to save your changes before exiting.
Note: Bear in mind that you’ll need a valid billing address and credit card for the country you’ve chosen. If you opt for the United States, for example, you’ll need an American billing address and credit card.
On Android, the process is quite different. Instead of altering your store settings, you can download the Threads APK file from a reputable third-party website, such as Uptodown, and install it on your device. Here’s your step-by-step guide:
- Visit Uptodown’s Threads download page at this link using your Android device.
- Tap the Download button to start downloading the Threads APK file.
- Once downloaded, locate the APK file in your device’s file manager and tap on it.
- If it’s your first time installing an app from a source other than the Google Play Store, your device might ask you to allow installation from unknown sources. Go ahead and allow it — it’s safe as long as you’ve downloaded the file from a legitimate source like Uptodown.
- After allowing installation from unknown sources, tap on the APK file again to install Threads on your Android device.
There you go! Now you can join the Threads revolution even if you’re in Europe.
Note: It has been confirmed that Meta that it is currently blocking users based in the EU from accessing the Threads app via VPN. Despite this, the above methods can potentially be used to access Threads once these restrictions are lifted. Also, you should be aware that circumventing region restrictions may violate the Terms of Service of the application, so proceed with caution.
How Does Threads Work?
At its core, Threads is intimately connected with Instagram. If you’re one of the 1.6 billion Instagram users, you’re already halfway there. All you need to do is sign up with your existing Instagram account, or if you prefer, create a new one.
Upon signing up with your Instagram account, all your followers get transferred to Threads. This means you won’t have to start from scratch, re-finding friends or building up a new audience.
Once you’re in, you get to choose the level of exposure for your profile. Go public, and anyone on or off Threads can view, share, and interact with your content. Alternatively, choose a private profile, and only your approved followers will have access to your shared content.
The Threads app features five distinct tabs:
- Home: A mix of posts from people you follow, blended with algorithmically suggested content. Unlike Twitter, which allows toggling between chronological and algorithmic feeds, Threads currently supports only the algorithmic approach.
- Search: Here’s where you can discover new people to follow, broadening your Threads network.
- New Thread: Your creative space, where you can write a new thread and attach photos or videos. Threads offers a limit of 500 characters for text or 5 minutes for video content. This provides a slightly larger canvas than Twitter’s 280 characters or 2 minutes 20 seconds of video for regular users.
- Activity: A dashboard showing who’s started following you, who’s replied, mentioned you, and so on.
- Profile: A personal archive of your created threads and posted replies. You can edit your profile or share it with others from here.
While Threads doesn’t currently support some standard social media features, such as hashtags, trending stories, and direct messaging, a significant update is currently in the works.
As confirmed by Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, an alternative chronological feed is currently high on the priority list, responding to users’ demands to see posts from the accounts they follow in the order they were shared, rather than in the order determined by the algorithm. This will give users greater control over their home feed and what content they engage with.
Other features on the horizon include the ability to edit posts after they’ve been published and the introduction of multi-language support to make the platform more accessible to a global audience.
A particularly exciting development is the planned integration with the fediverse, a collection of interoperable social networks, all using common protocols, which allows users to follow and interact with each other across different platforms. This means that a user on one platform, say Mastodon, can follow, interact with, and share content from a user on another platform, like Threads, seamlessly. With the support for the fediverse, Threads users will have the opportunity to expand their network beyond the app itself, effectively creating a broader, more diverse social experience.
While Threads currently operates primarily through the mobile app, the company is also working on introducing a desktop interface to increase the platform’s usability across different devices.
What’s The Difference Between Threads And Twitter?
While Threads and Twitter might seem like birds of a feather, there are some key differences and similarities to consider.
Twitter and Threads might seem to serve similar purposes at a glance, but their underlying goals and the experiences they aim to offer differ greatly.
Twitter is a platform that promotes public conversation. It’s a space where diverse voices can interact, share ideas, and challenge each other’s viewpoints. The platform is often driven by immediacy, with the latest news, trending topics, and viral posts capturing the spotlight. This dynamism can sometimes lead to an environment that feels confrontational, and at times aggressive, where users with different political views or ideologies may engage in heated, public debates.
The platform aims to offer a digital space that feels substantially less confrontational and aggressive than Twitter. Moreover, Threads is looking to strike a balance between Twitter’s text-centric approach and Instagram’s focus on visuals. Its feed seems to lean more towards promoting engagement rather than delivering breaking news.
Twitter offers its users a flexible sign-up process where they can choose to create an account using their Google account, Apple account, or even their email. This provides convenience and flexibility for users who might already have these accounts, eliminating the need to create a new account from scratch.
On the other hand, Threads is less flexible in this regard. Threads users are required to sign in with an existing Instagram account or create a new one if they don’t already have it. This means that to use Threads, you must be part of the Instagram community, which can be limiting for those who do not wish to have an Instagram account.
On Twitter, users can delete their accounts separately from the social media account they’ve used to sign up. his individual autonomy allows users to control their online presence and digital footprint on a platform-by-platform basis, providing a sense of security and privacy.
In contrast, Threads doesn’t afford its users the same level of autonomy. It’s currently not possible to delete a Threads account without also deleting the associated Instagram account. This has already caused a significant amount of frustration and controversy among users.
Twitter offers a Direct Messaging (DM) feature, allowing private conversations between users. This opens a parallel line of communication that can be used for more personal or confidential discussions.
Additionally, Twitter has integrated several quality-of-life features, such as lists, bookmarks, and hashtags, that make the platform more enjoyable to use. Sadly, these and other features are currently missing from Threads.
Twitter has a robust web interface, allowing users to tweet, retweet, follow, and engage with content in much the same way they would on the mobile app. This has proven essential for users who prefer larger screens or simply like the option of using Twitter from various devices.
Threads, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same full-fledged user interface. Right now, it’s not even possible to create a new thread from the web — you can only view existing ones.
Threads is promising to support “decentralization” soon. This means that you’ll be able to interact with friends on other social networks supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon.
Despite various discussions and speculation in the digital community about the potential benefits of Twitter adopting a decentralized model, it doesn’t seem that Elon Musk or the other stakeholders at Twitter are interested in going down this path at the moment.
When it comes to pricing, Threads and Twitter have distinct models. Threads operates on a completely free basis, meaning that all users have access to the same features without any premium tiers or subscription plans.
Since July 2022, Twitter has been offering a subscription service called Twitter Blue, in addition to its free access. Twitter Blue, priced at $8/month or $84/year, offers a host of premium features designed to enhance the user experience. These include the ability to undo tweets before they’re sent, edit tweets after posting, group saved tweets, and more.
Threads, Meta’s answer to Twitter, is a rising star in the social media space. With a promising start and a unique take on the Twitter formula, it’s looking to create a less confrontational environment than its main competitor. But like most young platforms, Threads still has to address some user concerns, such as the lack of certain features. Only time will tell whether Threads has what it takes to dethrone Twitter, but its current steep growth and user adoption indicate that it has struck a chord with many people.