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How This Palestinian Vlogger is Dismantling Stereotypes Through Rap

Courtesy of Haifa Beseisso

If anyone knows how to effectively deliver a message, it’s Haifa Beseisso. The Dubai-based vlogger has gone viral on multiple occasions; most notably last February, when she decided to succumb to the societal pressures enforced on Arab women by getting married— to life. The Palestinian vlogger donned a white wedding dress and took to the streets of the UAE to celebrate her “marriage”, which she documented in six-minute video uploaded to her official YouTube account. She even handed out handmade wedding invitations to onlookers that read “Welcome to the wedding of ‘Haifa & Life’ … Today, Tomorrow & Everyday you are invited. Join me!” Now, Beseisso is at it again.

This time, the activist is looking to dismantle stereotypes through rap. Following in the footsteps of other empowering female emcees, such as Neelam Hakeem and former Vogue Arabia cover star Nicki Minaj, who use their voices to uplift and champion women, Beseisso unleashes “The Middle East Speak Up”.

Courtesy of Haifa Beseisso.

“It was always a childhood dream of mine to present the truth about the Middle East,” says the vlogger in conversation with “What I see depicted in the movies really upsets me. It’s not true to who we are.”

Beseisso, who was selected as an ambassador for YouTube’s global “Creators For Change” campaign, took the funds she was awarded by the video-sharing platform, and used it to make a rap music video. She enlisted influencers from different parts of the Arab world, including Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, who were all dressed in different traditional ensembles such as heavily embellished kaftans, abayas, and djelabas to rap alongside with. The video was four months in the making as Beseisso had to write the lyrics, compose the music, and shoot with a little help from her friends.

Courtesy of Haifa Beseisso.

The stunning visual was shot against myriad backdrops, which serve to represent the diverse facets comprising the Arab world, including skyscrapers, sand dunes, million-dollar sports cars, and pyramids. When asked about the main messages she wants to convey through the 7 minute and 40-second clip, she explains: “I want to break stereotypes of not only Arabs, but Africans, Asians, and Latinos.”

The full video is set to debut on Beseisso’s YouTube account at 5pm UAE/4pm KSA time on November 12.  You can watch the full video here.

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