Yousef Erakat

Yousef Erakat

Born Yousef Saleh Erakat he and his three older siblings were raised in a conservative Muslim household in the northern California town of Fremont. He studied theater arts at San Jose State University, and later relocated to Los Angeles with the intent of making his way as an actor; during this period, Erakat also began recording and releasing videos on YouTube. His initial efforts, which largely focused on his exercise routines, found few viewers, but in 2011, he drew sizable numbers to a series of comic videos released via two new channels: a main showcase called fouseyTUBE, and a vlogging, or video blogging channel, titled fouseyTUB. The videos, which poked gentle fun at Middle Eastern and Muslim customs and personalities, struck a chord among young viewers from those communities, earning Erakat a global audience of more than 9 million subscribers. Though his content was composed primarily of lighthearted material - pranks, imitations and comedy sketches - he also used his channels to address his own struggles with depression, stress and anxiety, and to comment on negative stereotypes of Muslim Americans. His widespread exposure and socially conscious attitude led to opportunities outside of his YouTube channels, including partnerships with AdBlitz and Microsoft to create content on social justice.