Nazha Galeb: An Instagram micro influencer who leads with advocacy
Inspiring the next generation of Instagram influencer-activists
Photo provided by Nazha Galeb.
From Lebanon, Nazha Galeb is better known to her followers as @nanaaghaleb. She is a medical laboratory student at the University of Balamand. Originally a visual artist, over the last few years, she’s become an Instagram lifestyle micro influencer and activist with now almost 70,000 followers. Youth Mind sat down virtually with Galeb to delve into her relationship with her platform and how content creation ties into her brand partnerships and activism.
*The interview has been edited for brevity.
Establishing her platform
Youth Mind: Tell us a bit about yourself, your content creation and how it ties into your activism.
Nazha Galeb: I used to post my drawings on Instagram. Once [Ariana Grande] liked a drawing that I did of her, I got so many followers, likes, comments and shares. I started to post more drawings then more about my lifestyle, fashion, things I like and social issues. I lost a few followers. But that’s when I started attracting the right people and so many brands reached out. I work with local and international brands. I worked with Cozy Earth, SKIMS by Kim Kardashian. So many different brands. And not just gifted collaborations but they give me personal discount codes that I share with my followers. I’m also an ambassador for Anera, an American NGO that helps Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. And there’s an organization in Lebanon called the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL). They provide free treatments in Lebanon. I post about them and help them get donations from around the world. I love activism. I can’t see injustice and not talk about it. In Lebanon, there are so many problems with the government, corruption and financial crises. I also like to post about feminism.
YM: Why is Instagram the ideal platform for your advocacy and fashion and lifestyle content?
NG: Starting an audience on Instagram is harder than starting on TikTok. YouTube is something else. I actually started vlogging on YouTube not because I want to become a YouTubber or a vlogger but to try something new. I also have TikTok but I don’t post much. If someone comes to me for advice, I would say start with TikTok. But my first social media account was on Instagram. I know the algorithms and that’s where my art blew up. It’s where I started.
YM: How would you describe yourself as a brand?
NG: I like to stay up to date with trends but I like to have my own style. I have these black sunglasses. They make me look like an alien but I like that dark retro vibe. I also tend to lower the exposure on my pictures. My outfit, my style, they’re always dark and neutral colours. I like a minimalist vibe.
YM: How do you select what to post and share from your life?
NG: I have this mindset that if I enjoy what I’m posting then I’m going to keep posting regardless of whether people like it. I don’t mind losing followers. Of course, I care about my followers. But, at the end of the day, this is my account so whatever I feel I want to post, I’m going to post it. Once you start doing that, that’s when you attract the right followers.
YM: How would you describe your account in a few words?
NG: My account is expressive and I hope it is inspiring.
Speaking out as an Anera Ambassador
YM: Tell us more about your Anera partnership.
NG: I reached out to Anera and I was like “if you want an ambassador, I would be so happy to represent you.” I love to help any NGO that helps my country. They were just starting their ambassadorship program so that’s how I became their first social ambassador. I repost their posts and I share information provided by them. I tell people about their work, I have a link if people want to donate to help. There are going to be a lot of site visits this year so I’m going to be joining them. They recently had a collaboration with For Your Viewing Pleasure with Alana Hadid. In this campaign, they’re selling t-shirts and the funds benefit Palestine. They had this meeting here in Beirut. I went to watch, support and represent Anera as an ambassador. It was very fun. But my main focus is going to be Lebanon this year. We’re going to be hosting a fundraiser in Lebanon with all the Lebanon Anera ambassadors.
Supporting local and global brands
YM: How do you determine which partnerships are worth it and align best with you, your platform and audience?
NG: I rarely turn down any opportunities because if my collaboration is going to help the brand, I’m glad to do it. I believe all brands are worth it, honestly, especially local brands. Now, I’m focusing on local businesses here in Lebanon to help local people. The only reason I will turn down a brand is if I feel they contradict what I stand for.
YM: Have you had feedback from followers on the products and companies you advertise?
NG: So many people DM me daily. “Thank you so much for recommending this,” or “I’ve been searching my whole life for something like this, thank you for posting.” Some brands have collaborated with me more than once after I posted about them and some of their items sold out. So, I do think I have an impact on my followers in that sense.
Interacting with her digital community
YM: How has your experience been interacting with your followers through the Q&A function?
NG: The Q&A function has been really fun because I get so many interesting questions and I enjoy responding to them. A lot of people tell me that they wait for me to do Q&As because they like my responses or they like that I actually respond to everyone. I try my best to because without my followers, my account would mean nothing. Even though I’d be posting what I like and it’s my platform, my followers are what’s special about it. I love to interact with all of them and I love that they like the interaction as well.
Growing her platform further and final thoughts
YM: Going forward, what do you hope to achieve through growing your platform further?
NG: I hope to reach and inspire more people. I am also a mental health advocate because I battle anxiety and I always talk about it on my platform. I like to encourage people to talk about their mental health to break the stigma because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I like to show them that even though I have anxiety and I have to take medication for it, that doesn’t stop me from creating content, engaging with people. Yes, it gets hard at points but life goes on. So, I would love to keep inspiring people and set a good example.
YM: Is there anything else that you would like Youth Mind readers to know?
NG: I’m so glad to be surrounded by people who support me. My family, my friends, and my university professors support me daily and they understand that sometimes I can’t focus on my studies because I have to stay up-to-date with Instagram. I have so many interviews and photoshoots. I would like to advise people that if they ever get taken advantage of because they have a big audience, to cut ties with those people because they don’t genuinely support you. I’m glad that I’ve moved past that and I’m just so grateful to be able to be in a position where I can be vocal about the things that I care about and people actually listen.
About the author
Laura is a Copy Editor for Youth Mind. When she’s not reading, writing, proofreading or editing, she’s binge-watching series and films, adding new goals to her bucket list and daydreaming or listening to an eclectic playlist or podcast. She can also often be found dancing, unsubscribing to emails she accidentally subscribed to, discovering new green spaces or snuggling with her dog.