Making a name for herself in the rapidly expanding world of YouTubing is Sherine Arafa with her bold and sarcastically humorous videos that have us crying with laughter and sharing her page like crazy. We met with this charismatic character to find out the secrets behind making people laugh!
From picking fun at make-up tutorial videos to showing the humorous side of our social media obsession, Sherine turns our every day experiences on their head in an amusing fashion. Where does her inspiration for these comedic gems come from? “Something needs to really piss me off. For example with the Paki Fierce make-up video, I saw a lot of make-up videos and it really shocked me that people follow them, like why?!”, Sherine exclaims. Instead of doing what the rest of us do and just complaining about our annoyances, making fun of them was Sherine’s method of relieving her frustration.
Comedy and pushing boundaries is clearly in Sherine’s blood; “Since I was a kid I loved the camera and attention. I remember at school, my drama teacher told my parents she would have a heart attack because she would discover on the day that we’d do a performance that I’d changed everything”. Although her parents were fairly traditional, Sherine admits that they were a big influence on shaping her boisterous character, “I got my sense of humor from both my parents. The creativity and the eye, I definitely got from my father, the movie director Sherif Arafa”.
With this humor and bluntness, Sherine was destined to be a comic and it all began one day whilst in her car. “I was stuck in traffic and overwhelmed by the billboards advertizing upcoming shows. I was sure that everyone is so bored of the same old thing. No one is doing something that is different and funny or talking about the simple issues”. Inspired by Bassem Youssef and Ellen DeGeneres, Sherine made the first video with just a tripod and a wig and things exploded from there.
“I actually love the negative comments and reply to them because I love teasing them.”
Sherine tells us, “I knew from day one that I am going to do this! People’s positive feedback made me want to move forward, because I had a lot of ideas, but I didn’t know whether people would respond to them”. The support wasn’t just from the public, her family and friends have been an essential base throughout. Sherine reveals, “My mom was helping me from the beginning because I literally didn’t know what I was doing. Now I have friends helping me with the filming and the editing”. Sherine’s son is the most important critic, she tells us, “I always show him the videos first and if he laughs I think oh great! It is so cute when he says, ‘mamma funny’ and he wants to watch it over and over”.
With the internet being how it is however, Sherine has inevitably stirred up some outrage, but if anything the negative comments fuel her further. “In my first video I mentioned something about religion. People called me an atheist and said I didn’t know anything about religion. I actually love the negative comments and reply to them because I love teasing them. It was my first video and I couldn’t believe people were taking me seriously”, Sherine tells us with a laugh.
“By me as an Egyptian woman saying this is happening, people will be like, ‘oh maybe we do have this issue’.”
Although westerners still dominate YouTube, Sherine thinks it is important for Egyptians to be represented, “We are not imitating, we have a different message. Besides, a lot of people don’t watch what is happening abroad, so it is important that they see things like this. Many people say, oh we don’t have this problem here in Egypt if they see a westerner making the video. So by me as an Egyptian woman saying this is happening, people will be like ‘oh maybe we do have this issue'”, Sherine explains. Speaking in Arabic in her videos comes part of the package for Sherine, “I hate people who talk in English in their videos to make people think ‘oh I am rich and cool and went to an international school'”, she tells us defiantly.
In future what topics can we expect to be laughing about with Sherine? “I want to tackle things like religion maybe, as well as virginity and the fear of sex before marriage”, although these issues seem quite serious, Sherine promises that they will be addressed in her usual hilarious fashion. “I am doing this for fun. Yes I am a feminist and I want to see change and if I am part of that, that is great. But if I took this content seriously it wouldn’t be as entertaining or funny”.