Iraqi YouTuber Noor Stars addresses pros and cons of social media at On.DXB

Noor was raised in Syria and has lived in Turkey and America too. (Instagram)
Updated 22 November 2019

Iraqi YouTuber Noor Stars addresses pros and cons of social media at On.DXB

  • Noor described the “idealism” that often permeates opinion of social media as “the lie of our era”
  • Like many social-media influencers, Noor has been the subject of offensive and negative comments

DUBAI: With 13.6 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 6 million followers on Instagram, you might expect Iraqi vlogger Noor Stars to view social media as pretty much perfect. But at a talk she gave on Thursday at On.DXB — an event in Dubai dedicated to film, gaming, music and video — she described the “idealism” that often permeates opinion of social media as “the lie of our era.”

“In fact, we probably have more problems (because of it),” she said. “Maybe people on social media have more insecurities, because every flaw gets enlarged.”

Like many social-media influencers, Noor has been the subject of offensive and negative comments, but she says she has learned to deal with them.

“When I first started, I was shocked,” she said. “I would say, ‘Wow, who is this? Why would they (write) that?’ But after five years, you reach a point where you get immune to such stuff, no matter what people comment or say. It’s like you start understanding yourself more.”

She explained how important it was for her to have built a career based on her “passion,” which has meant she always enjoys her work. “It’s the challenge I experience every day of presenting something new and different,” Noor told the audience. “I’ve been waking up with the same passion for five years.”

And despite her earlier warning of the dangers of social-media, Noor stressed that it is still a powerful tool that has changed the way Arab women are perceived.

“A few years ago, when I used to go to LA, people would ask me so many questions that would irritate — or maybe even offend — me,” she said. “Now, people understand that we are strong, educated women in the Middle East. We are not like the Western media shows. Now, they say, ‘Wow, you guys really know how to dress.’ So social media did change a lot.”

Noor was raised in Syria and has lived in Turkey and America too. She believes her multi-cultural background has shaped her personality.

“Every country I go to changes something in me. Of course my roots are Iraqi and I am proud of that, but maybe it’s this mix that makes (me) stand out?” she said. “And the uniqueness is what makes (me) successful.”


What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Updated 11 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.

It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother— his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life, according to review published on goodreads.com.

The 18 personal essays collected in this book are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.

His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.