Khairat was interviewed on Sunday by the privately-owned TV channel of ONTV on the sidelines of his participation in the World Youth Forum (WYF), currently held in Egypt’s city of Sharm al-Sheikh.
Khairat, 25, narrated the story of Egyptian Streets, and how it changed from a personal blog to become Egypt’s most visited English news website.
While he was studying Media and Politics at Melbourne University in Australia, Khairat realized that the websites and blogs currently have more impact over the big news agencies and newspapers.
In November 2012, during his visit to Egypt, he noticed that there were a lot of events and social problems that were not portrayed in media.
“I wanted to write about Egypt, there was no media platform for Egyptians living abroad and foreigners who want to know about Egypt,” Khairat said, adding “Hence, I started Egyptian Streets as a blog in 2013 because a lot of things that were happening in Egypt were either not reported on, or reported incorrectly.”
Khairat believes that prominent news agencies and newspapers focus on the economic and social situations only when something relevant happens. Otherwise, the day-to-day social events that truly impact people’s lives are marginalized in media.
“I used to drive by a school where there were no windows and children were sitting on the floor. I wanted to capture this and write about it, people living abroad would love to help,” Khairat said.
Egyptian Streets is an independent English media outlet that covers all types of news whether they are political, economic, social. Nonetheless, Khairat stressed that he prefers to focus more on the social aspects in Egyptian Streets because they trigger all the other aspects.
Egyptian Streets started in 2013 as a personal blog, as Khairat used to finish his lectures at university and then, he would get back home to update the blog with Egypt’s news. He operated the website for three years, until 2015, alone. Then, Egyptian Streets became a media institution and he managed to hire a team not only based in Egypt but in several other countries.
Today, Egyptian Streets is the highest English media platform in terms of monthly visits that range between 500,000 to 1 million each month, according to Khairat.
Upon his arrival in Egypt to participate in the WYF, Khairat swiftly mingled with youth from different nationalities in an attempt to know what they think of this international conference.
“The WYF, for foreigners, is a platform to tackle peacebuilding and means to achieve peace. To Egyptians expats, they were excited to attend the forum to give back to their communities,” Khairat says.
While Egyptian Streets is deemed as a small media institution, in terms of the number of the team operating the website, Khairat has managed to create a platform, for all youth and all people, to contribute their thoughts, opinions, and insights regarding Egypt.
Khairat’s educational and professional background has also significantly contributed to the website’s variety of topics, making Egyptian Streets one of Egypt’s most diverse and various media websites.
Watch the full interview below.