What you need to know about Nas Daily

Nuseir Yassin, better known as Nas Daily, is a popular video content creator on Facebook. He gained followers for his quick, one-minute videos which shared his experiences as well as stories of people from all over the world.

However, the content creator is viral lately for different reasons. If you need a quick run-down of who Yassin is and why he’s trending, we’ve compiled some of the things you should know about him in the list below.

1. He is of Palestinian descent

Nas Daily - Palestinian IsraeliIn a video posted on 22 June 2017, Yassin said he considers himself a Palestinian Israeli.
Image adapted from: Nas Daily

Given the conflict between Israel and Palestine, with the former claiming the latter’s land and displacing its people, Yassin has acknowledged in one of his one-minute videos that content surrounding this issue often raises arguments.

In the same video, Yassin addresses his identity and said he identifies as a Palestinian-Israeli.

He explained that in 1948, when Israel was occupying Palestinian territories, his Palestinian ancestors remained in their land which is now Arraba, Israel. Despite the violence the occupation has brought, Yassin said he accepts the new borders of Israel and chooses to move on

He’s currently residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and has briefly lived in Singapore.

2. He studied at Harvard University on a scholarship

Nas Daily - HarvardA screenshot from a video where Yassin shared how he got into Harvard University
Image adapted from: Nas Daily

Yassin applied to the prestigious Harvard University at age 19. In his application essay, according to The Times Of Israel, he wrote about how being an Arab in Israel limited him from being able to pursue his dreams

He left Israel after getting accepted into Harvard and receiving a scholarship. He took up aerospace engineering but graduated with a degree in economics with computer science as his minor.

Before he started making videos and uploading them on the Internet, he worked as a coder for PayPal-owned Venmo in New York where his salary was over USD100,000 a year.

3. He made 1,000 one-minute-long videos

Nas Daily - Day 270 ThailandNas Daily first went viral for a one-minute Thailand video
Image adapted from: Nas Daily

Avid Facebook users know Yassin as Nas from Nas Daily, the Facebook page where began posting one-minute viral videos about his experiences around the world in 2016.-It wasn’t an instant hit. It was his 270th video on cheap food in Thailand that first got a staggering number of views – 25 million – and raised his following to 250,000. He then secured his Facebook celebrity status after his 298th video titled “How Cheap is the Philippines”.

He completed his 1,000 one-minute videos in January 2019 and is now making longer videos. Today, Nas Daily has different pages for different countries where he has filmed in. Yassin has also started different social media projects.

4. He has published a memoir

Nas Daily - Around the World in 60 Seconds memoir
Yassin’s memoir published in 2019
Image credit: Amazon

In November 2019, Yassin published a memoir with HarperCollins titled Around the World in 60 Seconds.

In it, he shared his thoughts about some of his experiences about creating his videos that he couldn’t express in 60 seconds.

In an interview with Publishers Weekly, he said he keeps a positive message in his videos because he doesn’t want to anger people even if doing so would generate more views.

5. He has podcasts, a video production company, a creator network, and an online school

Nas Daily - Nas Talks Spotify podcast
Nas Talks, Yassin’s Spotify podcast.
Image credit: Nas Talks

Following Nas Daily’s success, Yassin has branched out into other ventures.

There’s Nas Talks, a podcast on Spotify where Yassin talks about things that matter to him. Then, there’s also his video production company, Nas Studios, which makes video content for businesses and organizations who want to take advantage of Yassin’s wide creator network and massive viewership.

However, his most controversial project as of late is Nas Academy, an online school where people from around the world can learn from an expert in their field of interest for a fee.

6. He was accused of being a Zionist

Nas Daily - Israel Palestine conflictYassin was accused of being a Zionist and for oversimplifying the Israel-Palestine conflict
Image adapted from: Nas Daily

Due to his alleged oversimplification of the Israel-Palestine conflict and his questionable alliances, Yassin is accused of being a Zionist – someone who believes in Israel’s national ideology. Zionism refers to the belief that a Jewish national state should be created in Palestine. 

In particular, the news outfit Middle East Eye claimed Yassin frequently whitewashes Israel, meaning to simplify the Israeli involvement in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The article cited the Nas Daily video where Yassin said his Palestinian ancestors chose to stay in what is now Israel and that he accepts the new borders of Israel and Palestine.

The Palestinian-led movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) also called to boycott Yassin after Nas Academy launched The Next Nas Daily – a 6-month paid training opportunity for 80 Arab creators – in August 2020. 

The Next Nas Daily is supported by The New Media Academy that trains people in digital skills. It was launched by the United Arab Emirates prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose government had “normalized diplomatic relations” in 2020 with Israel in a peace agreement according to Middle East Eye. This agreement was not well-received by Palestinians.

According to the Middle East Eye report, BDS called the program a cover to normalize relations with Israel and “cover up its crime”. This is due to Nas Academy’s perceived links with the United Arab Emirates government that sanctions Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land.

Yassin has made his stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict in several past videos – including a 2018 video in which he said both Israel and Palestine are doing something wrong, and that “if you stand with one side and one side only, you are wrong, because it’s not black and white. The Middle East is so complicated…People are dying, and this contest has no winners.”

In 2019, he released another video showing a real-life encounter with Jewish people making racist statements to him and another group of Jewish girls having a friendly conversation with him. In it he commented, “The majority of Jews and Arabs actually wants [sic] to get along. Don’t let the few bad apples ruin it for everybody!”

7. He got Filipino journalist Jessica Soho and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray on board Nas Academy

Nas Daily - Nas Academy Statement
Nas Academy Philippines’ statement
Image adapted from: Nas Academy

In June this year, Nas Academy released a list of Filipino personalities who were to share their expertise on their platform. Among these were award-winning Filipino journalist Jessica Soho and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

Soho was to teach a broadcast journalism course while Gray was to share tips on building self-confidence.

However, due to the recent issue involving the traditional tattoo artist Whang-Od, Gray’s agency Cornerstone Entertainment released a statement on 8 August saying they have agreed with Nas Academy to stop accepting new applicants for Gray’s masterclass.

On 9 August, GMA Network also released a short official statement, saying that Soho would also no longer pursue her course on Nas Academy.

There are also more Filipino personalities who were to share their expertise on Nas Academy, such as Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco and Filipino-French celebrity food vlogger Erwan Heussaff. However, the entire Nas Academy Philippines has been put on pause indefinitely.

8. He’s currently under fire for allegedly exploiting Filipino culture

Gracia Palicas deleted Facebook post
A screenshot of Whang-Od’s grand-niece Gracia Palicas’ deleted Facebook post
Image adapted from: @tammydavid

On 4 August, Gracia Palicas, grandniece of National Living Treasure and the “last mambabatok” (traditional tattoo artist) of the Butbut tribe in Kalinga, Whang-Od, made a Facebook post claiming that the Whang-Od Academy course on Nas Academy is a scam.

According to the post that has been taken down, Whang-Od did not sign any contract that permitted Nas Academy to teach their traditional tattoo art. In fact, the mambabatok could not understand Nas Academy’s translators when they went to speak to her. Palicas also said their village is concerned about other people exploiting their culture.

This controversy also raised discussions about foreign content creators clickbaiting Filipinos for views.

Nas Daily - Nas Academy maintains that Whang-Od signed a contract

Nas Academy maintains that Whang-Od had signed a contract allowing them to put up the Whang-Od Masterclass
Image adapted from: Nas Academy

As a result, Nas Academy has taken down Whang-Od’s masterclass but they maintain that Whang-Od agreed and attached her thumbprint on the contract, even releasing a video showing Whang-Od placing her thumbprint on it. Most of the course sales, they said, also went directly to Whang-Od.

Not long after, news of Nas Daily’s canceled project with The Cacao Project went viral. You can read more about it here.

Ongoing Nas Daily issue

Nas Academy Philippines has halted its operations in the Philippines and is working with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to resolve the problem. However, since the discussions about his organization’s alleged cultural exploitation blew up, the Nas Daily page has lost over 500,000 followers.

As of the time of writing, Yassin’s involvement in the Philippines also remains an ongoing issue and he has addressed them at length on his Nas Daily Tagalog Facebook page. We hope that the parties involved will be able to talk through them civilly and respectfully and come to a mutual understanding soon.

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Cover image adapted from: Nas Daily and @nasdaily


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