Khalid Al Ameri visited Sri Lanka in the first week of June 2023 and it became a big sensation as he initially planned to meet his fans at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. His initial expectation was only 200 guests and at the very moment he posted the registration link the expected threshold was met in just 30 minutes and he was expecting to keep the link two days as he posted it two days in advance. During his visit, He went to Kandy, the cultural hill capital of Sri Lanka and the 2nd largest city in the country apart from his main visit to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. He participated in several activities with various communities in Sri Lanka as a part of his course as an online influencer.
On his tour, he tried several foods from infamous Sri Lankan food hotspots. But, some people in the country believe that “Khalid AL Ameri” did not get the real Sri Lankan food and he was misled by the women who helped on his way. So, I decided to make a review of his tour and also about those comments.
Before we go through the whole scenario, we will start from the beginning.
Who is Khalid Al Ameri
Khalid Al Ameri is 39 years old (born on the 5th of December, 1983) Emirati social media influencer and a video maker. His father is an Emirati national and his mother is a British lady. Because of his mother, he speaks perfect English without an accent. And his language ability grab the attention of most non-Arabic viewers and eventually supported his course.
Even though the Google information panel named “Khalid Al Ameri” a YouTuber (as Google people love to call people YouTubes), Khalid made his success actually through Facebook. Khalid was working in banking and finance businesses before. But because of his passion for media and film making he signed up for a short-term intern programme by CNN and the programme lasted only one single month. But his hunger to communicate doesn’t end and one month was not enough to turn the tide.
So, according to himself, he was inspired to make videos for “Facebook by the very famous One-minute vlogger “Nas Daily”. So he picked up his camera and made some videos on Facebook. At every video, he is ending the video with Facebook reactions motion graphics and says “Much Love, God Bless you all” with a hand gesture. He basically did his videos at his home base in Dubai, UAE. And later travelled to many countries and he personally visited Beirut after that massive explosion he opens supported many charity projects within UAE borders and outside as well.
So, Khalid Al Ameri changed the Arabic social media presence forever. In my POV, he made a huge difference to change the view of Arabic people from the outside. I was his following since the beginning. I followed him even though he didn’t pass 100,000 followers. He did a Christmas video once and at that moment, I became a top fan or loyal follower to this guy. Now he has mover than 6.2 million followers just on Facebook. And he is and was a good communicator between Arabic Community and the English Speaking World.
Even though NAS DAILY is also from the Arab community, we literary don’t consider “Nas” as a representation of that specific community. He was born and raised in Israel which is literary a Western-ish nation and he studied at Harvard and speaks American English with an American accent. So, we don’t feel Nas that way. He is more likely representing our young generation but not a community. But, Khalid is a true Emirati we see the beautiful Arab culture through him.
Why Khalid is Important to Sri Lanka
Khalid and his visit are important to Sri Lanka for a few reasons. He is addressing a huge community that Sri Lanka can receive as tourists and Khalid’s message to the World is important in Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion attempt as this small tropical island is depending on the tourism industry so much. And Khalid also visited and talked about the bomb attack that happened in Sri Lanka in 2019 and the attack was conducted by an Islamic extremist group. After the bomb attack, the true Arabic representation will also contribute to peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka and people like Khalid are assets to Sri Lanka to bring their all citizens together. Khalid almost did that voluntarily during his visit.
Food experiences and bad comments
A few people helped Khalid on his Sri Lanka tour and those people arrange a few famous food-hunting events for Khalid. Fee urban restaurants and street food experiences were there. But some people in Sri Lanka have observed this as misleading the country’s culinary heritage to a celebrity visitor. So they blamed the people who help Khalid by using social media posts and notices.
Are these claims true? And what is the explanation for it?
Those claims and accusations are true. Khalid did not experience locally grown traditional culinary arts and traditions. Instead of that, he could enjoy the foods actually people consume in their day-to-day life. In simple terms, “Traditional Culinary Art and Dishes of Sri Lanka” and the actual day-to-day foods that Sri Lankan people frequently consume are two different things.
But I can be guaranteed that “Khalid Al Ameri” definitely saw and enjoyed what ordinary Sri Lankan people usually eat as their normal life specialities. Maybe he could enjoy some flagship local dishes at his hosting hotel “Taj Samudra”. But most of those so-called local delicacies are not something people usually eat. You don’t eat roasted turkey or caviar every day. But those are culturally accepted foods. But you may eat cereals or oatmeal every day.
So, in my POV, Khalid Al Ameri is someone who does videos about people and their day-to-day life. By judging his previous activities, he always seeks a real-life story. So, the people who helped Khalid Al Ameri made sure that he experienced the true focal point of food choices from the POV of local people and not the promotional so-called local delicacies.
As a big fan of Khalid AL Ameri, I wanted to do an article about him on my website. Unfortunately, I had to take a start with this “Grey” story. So, If you seek for raw POV, do not forget to visit anuradhabernard.com I am trying to offer more of this kind of raw and harsh stories from my POV if you appreciate my works.
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