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TikTok celebrity: Sanitation workers in Jordan

posted on: Dec 28, 2022

By: Jenny Lyu / Arab America Contributing Writer

The Rise of Social Media

Old-fashioned concepts, the Middle East is known for its ancient civilization, rich oil, and mysterious veil. However, with the expansion of social media, Arab youths – the main force of net culture in the middle east – put their life in a plural, open and global context, letting the world see more aspects of Arab culture and life.

The social media industry in the Middle East is proliferating, with short videos and “social commerce” booming, a trend spurred by the pandemic. The continued popularity of social media applications in the Middle East is due to the region’s young population and rising cell phone penetration rates. The Middle East has the world’s largest youth population, with more than half its residents under the age of 25, and the number of young people continues to grow.

Photo credit: Xinhua News Agency (By خالد محمود)

Undaunted Dreamer Explores the World of TikTok

“I like being in front of the camera, everyone is extraordinary”, Ahmed said in the interview. Ahmed’s dream was to become a famous actor. Still, now he is a renowned sanitation worker with 189.5K followers on TikTok. He wants to change people’s perception of sanitation workers in a positive way.

Ahmed stopped attending high school because of difficult family situations, then he chose to become a sanitation worker employed for the government because he felt it was a relatively stable job in the long run. However, this stable job did not allow him to live an ordinary life, and he was treated with discrimination and disrespect.

Many people told Ahmed that the job was not decent, but he saw nothing wrong with it. “I had to change people’s perceptions of the job”, Ahmed said.

Sometimes he greeted people, and they ignored him. It was strange to greet a sanitation worker. On a cold winter day when it was raining and windy, he wanted to go to the store and sit for a while to warm up. People did not like this. They would look at him with critical eyes and tell him to go out, saying only you can’t sit here.

But these attacks on his career did not let Ahmed down, he did not yield to the arrangement of fate. Rather, he restored the dream after seeing different content on social media. He thought maybe he can try posting as well.

Video from YouTube

Innovative Content Telling Unique Stories

Fame is his childhood dream, he wanted to become an actor, but after growing up, he became a sanitation worker. He realized that there might be no chance of fulfilling his childhood dream. How could sanitation workers be actors? Still, he saw a lot of applications, such as TikTok, were garnering popularity. He could not restrain himself from wanting to show his desire and recorded videos for the app. After posting his videos, highlighting his job as a sanitation worker, they soon spread and became increasingly popular.

His content was rich, from sharing his work routine and feelings in his green sanitation worker’s overalls, to speaking out in his videos when he saw many children throwing plastic bags onto the road, to showing himself happily sweeping up the leaves. When he takes off his overalls, he shares where “the best pizza restaurant in the spots” are and dances with his friends and family. He is like a friend who lives on your phone, bright and cheerful.

He likes going out and being greeted by everyone as an influencer. He also greets everyone and takes pictures with them, and everyone likes influencer Ahmed. So he got himself promoted and, at the same time, earned money and improved his life.
Ahmed TikTok Account

Changing the Way People Interact

Ahmed has seized the opportunity he has been given in this era to change how others view him by sharing his story. “The income I earn as a sanitation worker is just enough to make ends meet, but I want to change people’s perception of this profession, and it’s enough to contribute to my country.” Yes, there is no distinction between noble and lowly jobs, and we should respect everyone who works hard at their posts.

The Arab world on social media is not as heavy as in the news. Whether you are high-fashion and high quality or grounded, rustic, or have a provocative language style, you can reap the benefits of your vast audience. If you are also a viewer just starting to follow influencers and enjoy the online world, plenty of Arab bloggers are waiting to be discovered. For example, funny video YouTuber Saudireporters, fashion twins Sama Khadra and Haya Khadra, and Saudi’s most popular vlogger Njoud.

Are there any other Arab influencers you like? Please share them with us in the comments section below!

Check out Arab America’s blog here!