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Yalla! Let’s Talk Amplifies the Voices of Arab-Identifying Youth

Published on November 11, 2021

Woman sits in a cozy chair on her laptop using Yalla! Let's talk (YLT).

“As diverse as the world is, the narrative is not.” Put in such concise terms, it’s not hard to see the current flaws in the mainstream media landscape. Yalla! Let’s Talk, a media platform giving a voice to Arab-Identifying Millennials and Gen Z around the world, is seeking to change this.

Yalla! Let’s Talk Is a Platform for More Diverse Perspectives

Through YouTube videos, conferences, insightful news and commentary articles, Yalla! Let’s Talk (YLT) was created to provide a platform for more diverse perspectives. Founded by Hani Al-Dajane, a Toronto-based lawyer, entrepreneur and public speaker, and Mays Alwash, a Ph.D. graduate in molecular biology, the platform aims to provide a safe space for people to address stigmatized issues on a meaningful level.

Recent articles on the YLT online magazine discuss the stigma of menstruation in Arab culture, the importance of inclusivity on Netflix, the mental health stigma in the Middle East and more. By providing an inclusive platform where people can write, share and discuss these topics, the founders have ultimately created an opportunity for people to feel less alone in the world, and express their thoughts freely without feeling judged.

An Inclusive Space for Arab-Identifying Youth

“We are creating an inclusive space for Arab-identifying millennials and Gen Z. A space where they can stay curious, connect, think critically, and of course, talk,” the founders wrote on Ryerson University’s Social Ventures Zone website. “We are creating dialogue and fostering inclusivity within our own cultural community, as well as amplifying narratives and stories that would otherwise go unheard. We are changing the narrative.”

Since launching in 2017, Yalla! Let’s Talk has made a big impact, its content clearly resonating with a massive audience. The platform reaches more than 110,000 followers on Instagram with relatable photos, memes and videos about life, relationships and culture.

YLT Empowers Young Creators

Today, the online magazine continues to share regular content featuring thoughtful information and insights about Arab culture, as well as profiles of people in the community like TikTok creator Saif Shawaf, and pop star Neemz. Covering a variety of topics including entertainment, dating and relationships and identity, Yalla! Let’s Talk is empowering young creators to own their roots, stay informed and share from their hearts.

Everyone deserves to have a safe space for authentic self-expression, and Yalla! Let’s Talk is leading the way in the journey towards a more diverse media landscape.

Looking for more stories about inspirational people in Toronto? Meet the Ryerson university students who created a vaccine booking app; the basketball executive who started a sports program that teaches financial literacy to youth; and the woman who is leading the way in inclusive fashion design with a braille-beaded clothing brand. 

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.