Postgraduate student’s viral video on the role of Anthropology during a pandemic

Farah Hallaba joined the School of Anthropology and Conservation last year to embark upon an MA in Social Anthropology and Visual Ethnography. She made an informal, short video in Arabic explaining what Anthropology was to her friends in Egypt, her home country. Within 24 hours of being posted on Facebook, the video received hundreds of shares and 2.8k views on YouTube.

Surprised by the success, Farah has decided to keep the momentum going and release a new episode of ‘Anthropology in Arabic’ each week: after uploading the second episode, she was interviewed by an Egyptian newspaper and, earlier this year, was featured in an issue of the online magazine Cairo Scene.

For her eighth episode, Farah explores how anthropology can help us understand the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and how it can inform how societies will adapt to a post-Coronavirus world.

Introducing the video, Farah says, “There is an embedded role of culture in the emergence, spread and containment of a virus during epidemics or pandemics. And this is why anthropologists have a very important role during such outbreaks. This episode briefly sheds light on how cultures affect pandemics, how cultures could change after it, and the role of anthropology in such emergencies.”

(Please note, for English subtitles, please click the subtitles/closed caption option at the bottom right of the video.)


You can read more about Farah in her student profile and watch all episodes of her Anthropology Bel3araby (Anthropology in Arabic) on her YouTube page.

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