DUBAI: YouTube has relaunched YouTube Batala, a channel by YouTube in the Middle East and North Africa region dedicated to spotlighting the next generation of Arabic-speaking women creators. Currently, YouTube Batala consists of over 250 women-led channels from countries across the region.

YouTube Batala is more of a hub than a traditional YouTube channel. It features a collection of playlists, categorized by genre, with each playlist containing a variety of creators. The playlists cover gaming, education, beauty and fashion, wellness, music, and one of the most important genres in terms of growth among women viewership and content creation, gaming.

The creators featured in the playlists were chosen based on a set of factors, which includes “responsible and impactful content creation, consistency, and whether their content was made in Arabic,” according to a company statement.

“One of the things I am in awe of in my role is the immense power and diversity of the women creator community on YouTube in the MENA region. Not only are these women creating content that draws in millions of people, they’re also building communities around ideas, beauty, food, and even general wellbeing,” said Tarek Amin, director of YouTube MENA.

YouTube Batala is part of a larger effort toward supporting women creators across Arabic-speaking countries, which also includes a series of events and workshops for women creators to help them further their content in terms of production and storytelling.

“YouTube Batala is part of our ongoing work, which we started to help more people discover these emerging storytellers while also celebrating their diversity, authenticity and impact on YouTube. After all, these women really are the heroes of their own stories,” added Amin.

Women-led content on YouTube in Arabic-speaking countries has witnessed a major shift in recent years. In 2016, when YouTube first launched the Batala project and other women-focused events and initiatives, there were only five women-led channels with more than 1 million subscribers. Today, there are more than 150 women-led channels, with more than 1 million subscribers in the MENA region.

Some of YouTube Batala’s most prominent creators are Meshael from Saudi Arabia and Kafa from Tunisia, leading gaming communities; Manola from Saudi Arabia, who is taking lifestyle content to the next level by not just reviewing clothes or posing in them but by also making them; and Nedal from Egypt, who started a virtual book club on YouTube.

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