Social Media Corner Hosts Nijood Al Hariqy Creator of Bakheeta

From the dry world of mathematics to the lively world of animation, Saudi youtube star Nijood Al Harigy is an inspiring story of what happens when desire and determination combine. Al Harigy spoke to visitors at the Sharjah International Book Fair’s social media corner about her journey and how she created one of the most successful GCC webseries: The Diary of Bakheeta.

Bakheeta and her husband Sheleiweeh are a traditional Saudi couple, though Bakheeta is rather eccentric. Through dialogue that’s both simple and comedic and through their interactions with other characters in their society, Al Harigy is able to critique national policies and provide social commentary on things that she observes.

She started out with pen, paper, a mobile phone and a stop motion program. Initially, she would take 3 – 4 hours o make a 15 second to 1 minute video. For two years she would draw, film, record her voice, manipulate the voice with audio software and edit her episodes. Online, Saudi social media users couldn’t get enough of Bakheeta and her antics.

With nearly 300,000 subscribers to her channel on youtube, Al Harigy said that initially, the surge of likes on Instagram worried her. “I knew that this was a responsibility and that I had to be ready for what that responsibility entails,” she said.

A year ago, Al Harigy said her ideas ran dry and she stopped producing the clips. “Everyone started to ask about Bakheeta and that was when I was contacted by a production company who offered to work with me on the production,” she said.

Al Harigy is always looking for change. She even attempted a 3D makeover for Bakheeta but she soon gave that up. “People were asking me to go back to the simple, drawings of Bakheeta. They loved that. So I listened to them and decided to keep the 2D drawings of Bakheeta.” She said.

She said that though she had a rough start, she has come very far. “I’m proud that I was able to shock the system and to reach where I am today despite the discouragement of some people around me. Today, thankfully, when they see where I’ve become they believe in my project,” she said.

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