The forum is an initiative carried by the MiSK foundation to enable youths and encourage them to create.
Will Scougal, head of creative strategy at Snapchat, held the opening session where he clarified that Snapchat was not necessarily a tool for social media, but for “creativity, communication, playfulness and fun.” He mentioned there were approximately 33 million Snapchat users in the Middle East, representing innumerable content creation opportunities.
SHOOF’s program included two discussion panels with noteworthy content creators on various social media platforms including Snapchat’s funny icon Selwan Elham, Ibrahim Sarhan, Alia AlShamsi, Omar Farooq, Hitham and others.
“We’re not here to show off our achievements,” said Palestanian vlogger, Haifa Beseisso, infamous for her Fly With Haifa YouTube channel. “I want everyone to imagine if we start utilizing the crystalline tool inside us, imagine what we can achieve. If we stand together, hand in hand, unite and encourage one another, what can’t we accomplish then?” she said encouragingly addressing content creators in the hall.
Dale Hudson from NYU pressed the importance of the message behind content discussing films that address the environment and climate change. The crowd’s breath collectively stilled once Tunisian photographer Karim Jabbari started waving lights in front of his camera to create an afterimage with the shutter, captivating the audience.
Hattan Nasif, VP of business development at Midwam talked about the importance of virtual reality and ways to apply it to education, medicine, architecture and more.
“It’s a very good event,” Dr. Mohammed Hakeem, an assistant professor at Jeddah University and an interactive influencer spreading awareness through Snapchat, told Arab News, “with storytelling as its main objective. Telling a story to the public through social media isn’t a hard task but it also isn’t easy. This gives others an opportunity to meet people who’ve succeeded at telling their stories and what inspires them to tell it.”
Manal Al-Nughais, a volunteer organizer pursuing her Ph.D., said: “I never imagined how beneficial virtual reality could be to students. During today’s workshops, we learned about the application of VR in schools, how you could plan a project and implement ideas through it. It’s truly impressive.”