Nour is an Algerian travel vlogger and one of the top 100 influential young Africans. She shares travel hacks and vlogs on her channel with her 161,000+ subscribers and her videos have had 4.4 million views to date.
When did you first start creating content, and why?
I started making content three years ago, growing up I used to love making small videos for fun. But I never really thought about creating content for the web until I saw Algerian creators actually sharing content on YouTube. For the longest time the only Algerian women who were present online were beauty or food YouTubers, and unconsciously it was sending a message that women should only care about that. I felt like I needed to change that, and so I became the first Algerian female travel vlogger. I mostly joined the content creation world to change the narrative and break stereotypes. Being a Hijabi who travels alone in multiple countries around the world, but also in Algeria, has changed a lot of biased thoughts, and people are starting to realise that women actually can be safe when travelling alone.
What makes a compelling YouTube video?
For me it all comes down to emotions. When the visuals serve the script they can make your viewers feel certain emotions. Also being real and showing your personality are both things that people can relate to. For decades people used to watch scripted shows where the characters spoke in a certain way, but the internet has changed that! People want to watch real people!
What do you enjoy the most about social media?
As a creator, social media gave me the opportunity to start something from nothing. The sky IS the limit for creativity. Thirty years ago it was impossible for someone to became famous just by sharing content from their room and that fascinates me and also makes me so grateful.
How can vlogging be used to break stereotypes?
By showing otherwise, the traditional media has created many stereotypes that people started taking for the truth. And when I hear ‘that country is dangerous, its people are dangerous and unwelcoming’ I go, live experiences, and show the TRUTH. The truth can be different from what we think and I believe it’s very important to share the things that make people think again.
One of the examples I can think of is the ‘degree stereotype’, especially for people in my country where a common idea is that you can only be successful if you have a degree and success mostly means having money, a house and a car. I quit my physics studies right before graduation and started my own business that enabled me to travel. As I shared this more people started to really believe in their dreams. Yes, someone’s dream might be to be a doctor, but other people want to be artists. You don’t have to leave your passion as a side hustle.
If you could change one thing about YouTube what would it be, and why?
Probably the algorithm. I believe YouTube is an amazing platform, but it puts a lot of pressure on creators when the algorithm changes constantly, especially for full-time content creators. I personally came to peace with that, as long as I’m happy with the content I’m making.
What has been your biggest achievement as a content creator so far?
I wouldn’t say it’s the awards, or nominations. It’s knowing someone’s life changed because of a video I made. I get hundreds of messages from girls telling me they travelled for the first time ever because they saw me doing it. Other girls say they stopped spending money on makeup they didn’t need and started saving to start a small business. At the end of the day, knowing someone decided to do a positive thing in their life is my biggest achievement.
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