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A Not So Warm Welcome

After he won the love of millions and his videos gained millions of views, Al-Daheeh's return was welcomed with a boycott campaign.

After he won the love of millions and his videos gained millions of views his return was welcomed with a boycott campaign.

Ahmed Al-Ghandour better known by the name Al-Daheeh is a researcher and YouTube content creator. He studied biology at the Faculty of Science at the American University in Cairo, and is currently working as a research master at the University of Hong Kong.

Ahmed Al-Ghandour started publishing his videos on YouTube in August 2014. And the success of his videos increased after he was contracted with the “AJ +” company, to produce content.

Last year the production of his videos stopped as Ahmed Al-Ghandour, presenter of the famous “Al- Daheeh” program, announced that his program had stopped after a period of success.

After a year of absence, Al- Daheeh announced that he’s back with another YouTube channel that’s owned by “The New Media Academy”

 

(A boycott campaign went viral on social media as soon as Al-Daheeh announced his come back with a boycotted platform)

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Emirati “New Media Academy”, is an academy for digital media created by ruler of Dubai Mohamed bin Rashed al Maktom in July 2020. It aims in harnessing the influence of Arab content makers and promote content that aligns with its goals.

As soon as the United Arab Emirates normalized relations with Israel, the academy promoted Nuseir Yassin, also known as NasDaily. An Israeli known for his calls for co-existence and for videos of making ‘the world a better place’ as he says.

A boycott call was issued last year by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Calling on people the world over to snub the famed YouTuber and Vlogger; Nas Daily. The BDS call was also aimed at those who were selected to take part in training at the NasDaily Academy.

Al- Ghandour’s appearance with this Academy came to improve impressions of the academy and bring millions of followers from the Al-Daheeh’s fans.

It’s noteworthy that 1.5 million views were gained in less than 24 hours while the average views of 85 videos published throughout the year reached only 15 thousand.

This means that one video for Al- Daheeh equals a quarter of the New Media Academy’s whole year views.

Later on, on Monday Al- Daheeh posted on his Facebook account a statement to justify and explain after the attacks against him.

“From the hour of showing the first episode of the Al- Daheeh program, on Saturday, there has been many diverse ​​​​reactions. Some of them were positive, and I am very grateful and thankful for them, and some of them were negative, violent, and the accusations varied.” His statement reads, as mentioned below:

Briefly and clearly, my position is as follows:

1 – My position on the Palestinian issue is clear and declared, and it is the only position I have announced. Because it is true that I do not understand politics and I do not like to talk about it, but I decided to announce my position on what is happening in Palestine in the past period, because of the crimes that were happening to our people there exceeded every imagination, and I expressed my feelings straight forward. Are these words from a normalized person or one intending to be?

2 – The platform I came back to is basically an educational platform, it has nothing to do with NasDaily. There is no funding, no support or anything else. But he was already in a partnership between the two platforms to teach a summer course, and the relationship ended completely last year. Based on this information, we decided to start dealing with them.

And finally, the content of the Al- Daheeh program will not change. It will not change with time to anything else. And it will not be a media mouthpiece for any party.

A caricature by Mahmoud Abbas, addressing Al-Daheeh that he should look on sources (BDS) that says that the New Media Academy promotes for normalization.

The general coordinator of the BDS movement to boycott Israel, Mahmoud Nawaja’a, told VIBES that the campaigns and calls that demanded a boycott of the Egyptian YouTuber Ahmed Al-Ghandour’s program, known as Al- Daheeh, are justified, because of his contract with the Emirati Academy.

He pointed out that the UAE is using the academy as a tool, embracing thousands of content makers and implicating them in normalization, because of their smart systems and money pumps that can host anyone they want.

Nawaja’a added to Jerusalem24 that “the real problem is the platform itself, as it is the product of the UAE regime itself, which has clear orientations and has clear institutionalization and methodology towards normalization.” Pointing out that their main goal is to attract the largest number of influencers, as they work on the long term, hence the influencer begins to introduce terms without people’s awareness as if this system is a democracy.

The general coordinator of the BDS movement said, “So far, there is no position statement from us, because there is a set of procedures, including contacting Al- Daheeh, we try to convince him, and if he is not convinced, we should issue a decisive position and a set of calls, such as interrupting his program.”

The hashtag #boycott Al- Daheeh witnessed a huge Arab interaction, after activists on social networking sites launched a campaign calling for a boycott of the Egyptian content maker Ahmed Al-Ghandour after his return to YouTube under the account of an Emirati company.

Mona Hijjawi

Editor/Presenter Graduated from The Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Cairo, BA in Translation and Mass Communication. Currently Ramallah based Journalist and presenter at Jerusalem24.

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