Seventy-five people answered a call by Nuseir “Nas” Yassin, the viral vlogger behind the infectious one-minute Nas Daily videos from around the world, to come visit him and his family in the Arab town of Arraba over the weekend.
The 75 people arrived on March 4 at the afternoon meeting as strangers but many left with new friends.
“There was a weird sense at the beginning,” Alyne Tamir tells ISRAEL21c, referring to random people showing up at Yassin’s home after he posted an open invitation on the Internet, “but by the end, everyone was really comfortable. People introduced themselves. It was really great.”
Tamir, who has an American mother and Israeli father, says she met someone who went to school with her mom in the US at Yassin’s meetup.
“It’s a small world,” Yassin tells ISRAEL21c, a day after his experimental meetup. “Israel being Israel, there were a lot of very different people who came. This wasn’t about six-degrees of separation; for a lot of people there were two degrees of separation.”
Yassin posted the open invitation on his Facebook page. He set up the gathering at his parents’ home because he wanted his friends – from all walks of life – to have a common meeting ground.
His family opened their Lower Galilee home to strangers, serving them traditional foods including schnitzel, tabouli, stuffed vine leaves, and more.
“It was amazing! Thank you for the amazing hospitality! Was definitely worth the up north long ride,” wrote Wasem Abadi, of Kafr Qara, on the Nas Daily Facebook page.
“For the past 330 days you ended every video with, ‘That’s 1-minute, See you tomorrow.’ But today at your family home, you deviated a bit, adding, ‘Yes, that was good!’ And it was good! For everybody. Loved your family,” wrote Garry Bregman of Rishon Lezion.
Yassin says some people were horrified that he publicized the location of his family’s home.
“How could you share the GPS coordinates of your home?! And how are your parents cool with this?” he posted on his Facebook page in the introduction to the video he made of the meetup.
“One, I have an amazing family. Thank you for putting up with us and for being so welcoming. Two, the GPS coordinates were not used by murderers, but by the most amazing people I’ve met to date,” he wrote.
Asked what people spoke about at the gathering, Tamir says the Nas Daily videos were a popular topic.
But the conversation was also about the people who came to meet Yassin and one another.
“The conversation didn’t center around politics but really just being in this home and food and people’s backgrounds,” Yassin tells ISRAEL21c.
The 25-year-old, who is now based out of New York when he’s not traveling, was meant to fly out of Israel on March 9 but pushed his return to the US back a bit. He noted that the meetup was one of many stories he hopes to tell through his vlogging.
“This project of videos from Israel is just starting,” he says, during a phone interview on his way to Neve Shalom. “I have a lot of videos that I want to make. I’m very pleased so far.”