Welcome everybody to the stereotype world
“Hi, everybody I’m African and no, I don’t live with lions.
“I’m Asian and I’m not just a computer geek.”
“Hi, I’m Latina and my uncle ain’t el Chapo. Tradition, tradition, it’s ok to be different”
These are some of the lyrics featured in the latest stereotype smashing parody to break the internet. Palestinian-American, Haifa Beseisso is the visionary behind the project that celebrates diversity and dissuades people from indulging in cultural generalizations.
Best known for her bright and bubbly travel videos, her latest work is quite a departure from her normal releases and is a result of her recent tie-up with YouTube’s ongoing global Creators for Change initiative, that spotlights inspirational Creators who use YouTube to foster productive conversations around tough issues and make a positive impact on the world.
The Impact Projects created by the Creators for Change ambassadors tackle a wide range of topics, from self-acceptance and showing kindness to others, to celebrating cultures and advocating for global empathy.
The video was shot in Dubai, Egypt and Morocco and helping Haifa deliver the message on this superb piece of cinematography that certainly ticks all of these boxes was director, Kimo Basha, cinematographer Daniela Banikova, and composer, Steve Wright. The same team was also behind Haifa Beseisso’s other YouTube favourite, I Got Married, which challenges societal pressures forcing young people in the region face to get married. Haifa instead chooses to wed ‘life’ until she finds the right person, in her own time, and not according to society’s schedual.
The brilliantly light and humorous video is being welcomed by all those who recognize the wonderful melting pot of cultures that make up the Middle East and who reject the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all perspective that many define the region with.
This perspective is something that the modest fashion industry has been successfully challenging for a number of years now, helping people to recognize that while different faiths, cultures and backgrounds may have different reasons for the choices they make, there are many choices, like modesty that transcend these differences and unite us.
Well done to Haifa and her team, and also thank you to YouTube for giving them the support and a platform to create content that positively adds to a growing dialogue around acceptance and mutual understanding.