Student finds audience in his search for ‘everyday’ humor

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Nineteen-year-old Abdullah Tahhan can be seen in this undated photo. The young TikTok star recently spoke with Jordan News about his videos and future plans. (Photo: Handout)
AMMAN — With his simple filming, serious facial expressions, unique character, and hilarious content, Abdullah Tahhan’s short videos have gained considerable attention locally and regionally.اضافة اعلان

The 19-year old may seem similar to any other rising influencer on social media, but the talented young Jordanian paved his way to fame through his realistic clips, winning 1.3 million followers on the video-sharing app, TikTok, and thousands of followers on social media. He now has over 22 million likes on TikTok.

Beyond his 22 million likes on TikTok, his videos were and still are being shared on other platforms, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, and even WhatsApp.

A January report showed that out of the 10.24 million people in Jordan, 6.3 million are active social media users, according to DataReportal, which also noted that in Jordan, there are 5.5 million Facebook users, 3.2 million Messenger users, and 2.7 million Instagram users. 

Tahhan’s two video series “What is it like to live in an Arab house” and “(Silly) Things we used to do when we were younger” are amongst those that have gone viral.

Being an “observer” and a detail-oriented person made him the perfect fit for such audiovisual content. “Besides making videos that entertain people, I wanted my content to represent audiences’ lives and reflect daily thoughts and struggles that are common yet not highlighted.”

“Relatability is the key. People enjoy what makes sense to them and what they can relate to.”

Although the majority of his followers are Generation Z and Millennials, older generations seem to also enjoy his sense of humor. “Folks constantly tell me that when they send my videos to their parents or grandparents, they actually seem to love my clips!” 

When preparing a clip, Tahhan does not tell jokes or determine when viewers should laugh, rather he waits for spontaneous reactions. “People notice that it’s all about demonstrative acting and facial expressions with minimum speech,” he added.  

Adapting teasers was his secret to grabbing attention, and shows his instinctive skills of marketing himself. “I give people the bare minimum of me. My 20-30-second long videos hook viewers, leaving them with no chance to get bored of me, as a presenter,” Tahhan said.  

His simple technique and use of smartphones to film helps the audience relate to his content — opposed to cinematic shooting that can overwhelm an audience, he highlighted.

Tahhan, who studies dentistry at Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), also exceled in Tawjihi (the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) with an admirable 94 percent average.  

He started making videos at a young age, but the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, and the boredom that followed the lockdown, convinced him to get serious about videography after he found TikTok.

“One day, I grabbed my notebook, wrote my very first sketch about a struggling doctor who graduated from online education — which sounds as if I am making fun of myself,” he said. “Surprisingly, many people liked it! And since then I started producing original content that represents my real character, life, and diaries.”

The Jordanian student added that he also aims to utilize his fame to help charitable organizations. “My followers can ask me for a personalized video for JD20, in which the majority of the money eventually goes as donations with aid of Oulo, (a fundraising website),” he explained.

“Focusing on the positive side … gives me powerful momentum for further success,” he explained, adding that he hopes social media will become a “blessing in the sky”, and lead to a career in media or even help him promote a future dental clinic.

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