Palestinian influencers join Red Cross/Red Crescent efforts to fight COVID-19 misinformation

Jerusalem - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have partnered with Palestinian social media influencers to help try and combat COVID-19 pandemic. Arine Rinawi, Haitham Khalayleh and Dyala Abdallah reach millions of people through social media platforms. They are using their influence to persuade people to adopt safe behavior and follow the recommendations of health authorities.

“From this moment you will be my companion,” sings Hitham Khalayleh, an Arab idol. “People will think I am singing to someone, but actually I am singing to the mask,” – he explains.

Research conducted by the ICRC this summer has shown that while Palestinians are largely aware of COVID-19, people in the West Bank are less likely to follow many of the recommended prevention measures, for example staying at home when sick or wearing a mask. The research has also shown that residents of Gaza are more likely to follow generic health measures that appear on social media, such as ensuring they have a balanced diet.

Promoting safe behavior and combatting misinformation is a collective responsibility. “I am fed up with wearing the mask all the time, we all are, but to get our life back to normal we have to adhere to prevention measures,” says Dyala Abdallah, a Palestinian vlogger.

The ICRC has supported PRCS and health authorities in the West Bank and Gaza in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the promotion of preventive measures. This partnership explores different ways of influencing digitally-connected audiences to make the right choices in keeping themselves and their communities safe. “Keep your camera lenses wide, show the social distancing and keep wearing your mask” concludes Arine Rinawi, a well-known Palestinian photographer from the West Bank.

Note to editors:

  • The results of the COVID19 knowledge, attitude and behavior study are available upon request
  • A video clip featuring Hitham Khalayleh may be found here


For further information, please contact:

Suhair Zakkout (Arabic and English), ICRC Gaza, tel:

+972 59 92 55 381

Yahia Masswadeh (Arabic, English), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 9148

Or visit our Arabic Facebook channel here