How often do we get to see images of the hills of Iran? Or of beaches in Libya? What about bike routes in Lebanon, colorful streets in Egypt or restaurants in Jordan?
Not often enough. But that is exactly what these tourism campaigns hope to change. Campaigns that are small, large, state-run, independently run, or run by no one, but have one thing in common: the goal of showing a positive and more truthful side of the countries that they represent. Be it through photos, videos or lists of popular restaurants, each of these initiatives works in its own way to change the common perception of the Middle East and North Africa.
Best of Libya
This private initiative shares and posts any beautiful photos of Libya – mostly of natural landscapes. Founded by Libyan photographer Sanad Alahlafi, the page is now popularly followed by people around the world, and has accumulated over 300k followers on Facebook and close to 2k followers on Twitter.
Live Love Lebanon
This initiative was launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, and has developed into a very prominent social media campaign. It is built on the concept of submissions – submitted photos and short videos by any Lebanese citizen hoping to share the beauty of their country with the rest of the world. Live Love Lebanon is also an umbrealla organization for many smaller local tourism campaigns, such as Live Love Beirut, and works on social projects inside the country.
Must See Iran
Must See Iran was founded by Iranian Ali Araghchi and claims to function as an unofficial tourism campaign for Iran. Although this initiative was originally just a retweeting Twitter page, it has grown into a large social media campaign. The Must See Iran website also features short articles on Persian culture, food and history, as well as travel guides for Iranian and foreign tourists.
BeAmman was founded by Luma Qadoumi, Raghda Butros and Ruba Nazer in 2011, and has since grown into a site that is rich with articles submitted by contributors from Amman. The articles cover any topic that relates to Amman – from the best Mansaf spots to popular parks, events, and shops. Most articles can be read in both English and Arabic.
This campaign is unlike any of the other ones, because it is not run by any single group of people. It also is not run through any social media account. It is a hashtag. And a great hashtag to follow for anyone who wants to explore an intimate and engaging side of Egypt! It was started by Egyptian photographer Taimour Othman, but has now been popularly adopted by amateur photographers across Egypt.
Find more photos by searching for #RoamEgypt.