A Saudi voice in Vienna

Abdullah Khurayef

It’s a real privilege for me to be invited to speak here at such an important and historic event.


My name is Abdullah Khurayef, Saudi influencer on Twitter platform from Saudi Arabia. I studied Translation in the US

I saw that many Americans had negative stereotypes about Saudi Arabia and Islam

The actions of a minority of extremists has influenced what many think about Islam and Saudi Arabia. 


I have a passion for languages and translation and have always been a follower of social media. 


I saw a chance to use my love for Translation in a positive way.... to help bridge the gap in understanding about Saudi Arabia/Islam that exists ...by translating video clips into English that present a positive image and that could help to bringing the two cultures closer

There are also many young Saudis who have stereotypes of the West. 


The youth of today are the social media generation... and Saudi youth are some of the world’s biggest users and inno-vators in social media. 


Just as social media has been used by extremists to transmit their messages of hate and division, social media can also be a weapon against extremism .... how? By spreading knowledge and understanding of the ‘other’ ... especially with the youth

When we understand eachother and can communicate without stereotypes , it is harder for messages of hate to divide. 


In my work I have seen the real positive result of how a simple translation can make a real difference in bringing people closer together

A simple translation can translate into thousands of people changing an incorrect idea of the other.


In the world of social media, we need to make sure that the youth  spread positive messages between cultures and other faiths. 


Saudi youth are open minded, warm and should not have to be victim of the negatives stereotypes that people have of their country ... they are Citizens of the world who share a common humanity ..


Social media is the modern tool that can help break down walls of misunderstanding for a shared world based on peace, respect and coexistence.


*Excerpts from a lecture at King Abdullah Center for  Dialogue.

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