Baba Ali, a 34-year old Iranian video blogger from Los Angeles, has struck a chord with Muslims across the globe, using humour to highlight social issues, via the website YouTube. His show Reminder, which started on Nov 7, features Ali discussing topics such as air travel for Muslims, finding a spouse online and exorbitantly expensive weddings.
For whatever reason, my past videos which dealt with marriage and social issues seem to be the most interesting for viewers so for season three, I hope to focus more on the topic of relationships.
There are so many issues that are put under the rug because people refuse to bring them up. One day, I decided to turn on the camera and tell the whole world what was on my mind. To my surprise, I realised that there are many people who feel the same way I do so I continued making this series of videos. My goal is to make a positive difference and I hope to do that by using my camera and my imagination.
I'm planning to launch a matchmaking site on New Year's Day next year and we are now in the process of writing our first feature film. I've also been invited to attend a conference in Qatar in January 2009. I'm looking forward to that.
I think there are good things about both worlds. I'm happy in America and living here gives the opportunity to show Americans what Muslims are about. It is one thing for people to watch how the media portrays Islam and it is another thing to have a Muslim neighbour or colleague. I think the best way to show Islam is by being a good Muslim example.
Ever since the spotlight has been on me, I've started to feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I have the microphone in my hand and what I say can make a positive or negative impact and thus I feel the pressure. I expected to get nothing but negative comments from viewers because my videos bring up sensitive issues and are quite opinionated. But the majority of the direct feedback and e-mail has been very positive. Of course, there are those who won't like what I have to say and there are others who are going to hate the show no matter what I say but that is to be expected when the videos reach such a large range of people.