Cause for celebration in style
RNW/Michiel Bles

Love Matters Arabic hits 3 mln views on YouTube

Love Matters Arabic has reached over three million views on its Youtube channel. It’s a major landmark for RNW’s taboo-breaking Arabic-language website about sexual health, which only started 10 months ago.

The Arabic offshoot of the successful Love Matters project offers honest and open information about love, sex, relationships and everything in between to young people in the Middle East and North Africa.

The first video was uploaded on 9 December 2013 and the playlist has since grown to 24 short films. The number of subscribers currently stands at 15k. "This comparatively low figure probably means that people are looking for specific information, but are hesitant to engage or share given the private nature of it," says producer Abir Sarras.

Need for sex education
The success of Love Matters Arabic – all organic growth - doesn’t surprise her. Abir points to the massive popularity of YouTube in the Arab World and the equally huge need for sex education in these countries. “And the topics we’ve chosen apparently match with what people are looking for.”

Love Matters Arabic producer Abir Sarras
Abir Sarras: "The figures exceed the targets we set ourselves."

Thank you, doctor
Doctor Alyaa Gad has proven to be a key asset too. With her natural approach and her use of the Egyptian accent (the most popular Arabic dialect), the Love Matters video doctor appeals to a wide audience.

“We receive a lot of 'Thank you, doctor' in our comments. People appreciate the fact that she addresses these issues so honestly and talks about them in such a straightforward, easy-to-understand way,” says Abir.

Favourite topics include virginity and the hymen, treating premature ejaculation and having sex for the first time. Most views come from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco. “And yes, they’re mostly men.”

First night
The most popular video deals with a couple’s preparations for their wedding night. “There’s always a big build–up to the first night," Abir explains. "There is a lot of pressure to perform, particularly for men. It’s uncharted territory for most, because pre-marital sex is not allowed. That’s why the topic attracts so many viewers. Taboos and other sensitive issues are the most popular on our channel."

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