Jordanian influencer sheds light on social and political issues

Jordanian influencer
sheds light on social and political issues
(Photo: Handouts from Omar Jehad)
With his funny commentary, crazy stories, and some luck, Jordanian content creator Omar Jehad, 22, has managed to garner over 100,000 followers on Instagram and 220,000 followers on TikTok in about four months. اضافة اعلان

His journey on social media was somewhat of an accident: “I was in Jordan and it snowed. Suddenly all the electricity went off, electrical wires all over the street fell down, and I took a video commenting on it as it was happening. You can hear my mom in the background telling me to come inside so I do not get electrocuted,” Jehad recalled.

“That video trended. I remember many news outlets like Al Jazeera reached out to me to see if they can claim the video and use it in their news reports. You can say that is how I started, sharing ‘bad luck’ stories, and people loved them,” he continued.

The influencer usually shares stories from his personal life; like comical situations as an expat living in the US. His content includes confessions, relatable topics, jokes, commentary, motivational videos, as well as social and political issues.

According to Jehad, some of his videos, especially the ones about living abroad, can cause controversy.

“It is because I would say things they will not normally hear,” he explained. “I would say ‘you would be making a lot of money, you will be having a better life style living in America, but you will need to consider many other things like ditching your family or almost not having a social life,’ and so on.”

He mentioned one particular video: “I said something about not knowing if I will be raising my kids in the states or back in Jordan. I said that here, in America, a person would have more opportunities but the community itself has a different set of values and morals than us Arabs.”

According to Jehad, his videos are inspired by original and spontaneous ideas.

“Apart from the motivational videos, of course, and the videos where I want to comment on a social issue or videos of a political nature. These need a little planning and I write down ideas for them, do my research, check my sources, and such,” he said.

“But I usually talk about what goes around in my mind, like, my personality is my content.”

Some of the videos revolve around personal topics, and he shares his own struggles because he feels “everybody goes through the same thing”.

@0marjehad فقرة شو انوعدت اذا خلصت توجيهي و شو اجالك #omar_jehad #عمر_جهاد #amman #jordan #foryou #foryoupage #عمان #الاردن ♬ original sound - Omar Jehad | عمر جهاد

“I open up because I do not want my people to feel like they are alone. And not everyone on social media is truly happy all the time, even though they might show you that they are. I want to be able to connect with my community.”

“I never want to be known as someone who only jokes around, or as someone who copies others,” Jehad said.

Jehad is known for the shock value in his videos about local investigations, which are tinted with politics.

“Some of the stories or investigations I talk about, when you read them, you would not think they are real. They are bizarre and straight out of a horror movie: someone killing his wife or children for example. It is shocking and I think it is highly important that we share these issues and talk about them,” he told Jordan News.

Jehad said that he usually follows a particular format.

“I make sure that I explain what happened, talk about a background, take statements from witnesses, for example, then I include what I found out during research, and state my sources.”

“I make the video clear, short, and straight to the point because I am not talking about a certain issue for ‘the views’,” he added.

These videos make Jehad stand out.

“Some other influencers do not talk about political or social topics, sometimes it is because they lack the knowledge plus they do not want to lose their advertisements and contracts because they sparked controversy,” he stated.

“Usually, heavier topics can create a lot of conflict that may harm their business. But for me, I do not really care, I just speak my mind. I want to raise awareness, show people what is going on, and hopefully make a change.”

Addressing his frequent criticism of news outlets, he said: “People coming to me for news tells you a lot. I do not think they are doing their jobs; these outlets are supposed to be covering what is going on out there, but instead, I see posts talking about celebrities working out. Other content creators like me are doing their job.”

Making an important distinction, Jehad highlighted the importance of “constructive criticism” versus engaging in “hate speech or bullying”.

“People need to think if a certain comment they are leaving on somebody’s post is going to help and benefit them, instead of just leaving a comment that might hurt others.”

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