Sherouk Abdelaziz is a popular social media influencer based in Dubai.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA
Since she broke into the social media scene last year, Sherouk Abdelaziz has been a breath of fresh air with her comedic yet unadulterated insights to expat life in the emirate.
With her thick, Arabic accent and amusing expressions, Sherouk singlehandedly makes our ordinary expat conversations into hilariously accurate slices of life on video.
In an exclusive interview with Expatmedia.net, the Dubai-based Egyptian influencer shared that her journey as an accidental social media star started one hot day in Dubai exactly one year ago last July. “It was beautifully hot. I’m just a crazy young soul so I decided to hold my phone and make a video. My reaction to Dubai’s hot weather got people’s attention. The video got 24 million views in two weeks,” she says.
Sherouk blew up on social media, getting nearly 800,000 followers on Instagram alone. She also posts on TikTok and Facebook, getting millions of combined views. Her comedic skits of expat life in the emirate are relatable, breaking the veneer of glitzy Dubai in an unpretentious conversation that is neither offensive nor controversial.
“People started following me to see what else I am going to speak freely. But I am not trying to be controversial. I’m just trying to express my feelings,” Sherouk says.
She likes to keep it real, saying it was ironically a TikTok video about high-rolling expats in Dubai that helped her find her niche. “They go for a tour of big, huge villas. For almost six months I’m watching this guy and none of the people he interviews is us. You know who is us? The people who live in shared apartments or partitions. Where are we? So, I was like, okay, you show these people, let me show the other people. I did this and I got like 7 million views or something,” she recalls.
The 27-year-old was born in Sharkia village in Egypt and raised in Cairo. Before coming to the UAE, she lived in Georgia for five years and ran her own tourism agency there. When it didn’t work out, she moved back to Egypt to be with her mother for two months before trying it out for Dubai. She worked for a company for several months before figuring out that she wasn’t cut out to be an employee. “I’m too Alpha,” she says with a grin.
She credits her mother for her business mindset. “I was 6 or 7 when I started working with my mother. She had a little grocery store. Whatever business she opened, I’m there. She also opened a clothes shop. She taught me how to work,” she says.
She quit her job and dived full time into content creation. “Within the first month I was crying blood. You know this kind of effect, ‘Uh! Oh! Oh!’ I was like, I’m gonna make money; I’m going to have thousands of dirhams coming for me because people like my content.”
“But, nothing! For a month I had nothing,” she recalls, adding that her savings of Dh2,000 was quickly dwindling as she used it to pay her rent and living expenses. Then one day, a breakthrough. She landed a project with Botim. “It was much lower than my salary, of course, but it was the best. From then on, I decided to take one or two projects per month but I will be free to do what I like and people are enjoying it,” she says.
Sherouk says she is able to make videos with the help of her healthy sense of humour. “As you see me on social media, multiply that 500 times when I’m at home,” she says. Is she willing to continue being a content creator for a lifetime? “No. But I’m here now. I can’t imagine myself working on anything forever. I was telling my fiancée that I have to quit everything and enjoy life. This is a headache. You got to be… what’s the word? Consistent.”
Sherouk says her main priority is to enjoy life. “You have to discover new opportunities. You have to travel. You have to see things. You have to experience culture. You do need it. I don’t know when I’m going to die but I want to enjoy life. I don’t want to be old, in a wheelchair, enjoying life after retiring. I want to enjoy my life young,” she says.
I understand that if the problem happened in one minute, it doesn’t deserve me being upset for one hour, or one day, or one month or one year. It happened in one minute, right? So why is it taking me more than one minute to be upset about it?
This is such a hard question. I don’t even know what I’m going to do after 10 days! I don’t know! Life is much easier like this for me. I don’t plan anything. Why? Because I want to enjoy now. This moment when I’m with you. I don’t want to think about 10 years because I’m gonna forget about these 10 hours I am alive on.
I want to buy one studio [apartment] in Dubai. I want to take a loan for it. I don’t want a Ferrari, a fancy life or designer bags. These things don’t attract me. What attracts is when we open the TV, watch a movie, have popcorn and some snacks and just hug. Khalas. This, for me, is the perfect thing.
Anything with six digits and then 0000000..
Yes, I am.
Anytime I go to Carrefour, I take a receipt and in the back of this receipt there are offers. I take these offers. This was when I was new in Dubai. Sometimes, I want to take a taxi to go to Deira but it’s gonna cost Dh80, so I take a taxi to the nearest Metro so I can save half the amount. I don’t buy in kilos. I buy what I want to eat.
Do it light, do it polite. I respect the culture but I also do me. I don’t fake it. I keep it natural but I keep it polite.
Bad days will come but it is only in your mindset how to turn it into a good day. Life is not always going to go according to your expectations, however, in some days you will find that whatever bad that happened to you, it happened because of a reason. PIA/Expat Media
A condensed version of this story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition magazine
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