- Title: Gaza sisters become a hit on YouTube
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS SHOWING ON LAPTOP SCREEN
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 15:59
- Keywords: Gaza Youtubers YouTube Gaza City
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZBVJO5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Gaza sisters Haya and Maram Barghout aspired to make their very own channel on YouTube, hoping to provide a window to their homeland and change the traditional view of Gaza in the outside world.
In just under six months, the two girls became famous at home and abroad, in countries they have only dreamed about visiting.
They have over 125,000 subscribers and over 8 million views for the 37 videos they have produced since last August.
A small room became their studio, where their father, a university media lecturer, filmed them at their house on the fourth floor of a building in the Zeitoun neighborhood, one of Gaza City oldest suburbs.
The area has been heavily bombed in wars between Israel and Gaza since 2006, but the two girls, 15-year-old Haya and 13-year-old Maram, have decided to offer their audience something other than war.
Their videos aim to entertain other teenagers and give a slice of what life is for ordinary people in Gaza.
Many young people their age make their own videos on social media, but the two girls think they have something special.
"I think what attracted people is that these two girls from Gaza have an entertaining channel and speak well. Most of the people in our society don't start a channel the way we did. Also what is special about us is that we talk about the circumstances in Gaza because all the people who make videos from other countries do not have the same circumstances as we do. When it comes to our channel, although the circumstances are difficult in Gaza, we try to present a nice entertaining idea that our society has both entertainment and wars," said Haya.
Their videos have them putting on different accents from various Arab countries, challenging each another on camera, or simply taking viewers on a tour inside their room - a video that attracted 300,000 views.
Like many teenagers, the two girls aspire to travel and see the world but for now the YouTube stars have made online friends in many Arab countries and around the world.
The Barghout sisters enjoy their popularity locally as well, when people in the street or at school stop to talk to them about their channel.
Their father, Ismail Barghout, said he helps the girls to film their videos but doesn't get involved with the content.
"I am not the one who creates the ideas. Haya and Maram are the owners of the ideas, they create them and bring them to me. I mostly help in filming and some adjustments, generally my role is to help them," he said.
The sisters now plan to continue expanding their channel and keep entertaining their growing audience around the world.
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