Saudi scholar ‘most influential’ Arab on Twitter

Saudi scholar Salman Alodah

Muslim scholar Salman Alodah ranks No 1 as Arabic tweets grow 2,146% in past year

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A Saudi-based Muslim scholar tops a new list of the 100 most influential Arabs on Twitter, as Arabic tweets have grown by more than 2,000 percent over the past year.

The top six spots in the list, which has been compiled by Khaled El Ahmad, a social media instructor from Jordan, and published on Wamda, a website for entrepreneurs.

Muslim scholar Salman Alodah is ranked at No 1. He has 647,690 followers and runs his own website, Islam Today.

Arabic accounts for 1.2 percent of all public tweets, and Arabic tweets have grown in volume over the past year at a staggering rate of 2,146 percent, according to Paris-based firm Semiocast.

US president, Barack Obama, made it on to the list because of a parody account, ArabicObama. The account, which has no links to the US administration, took 18th spot with 151,387 followers.

From the other Arab world entries in the list, Saudi Arabia has the largest share, followed by Egypt, Kuwait and the UAE. 

The Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, are among six people from the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed is 30th on the list, with 638,921 followers, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs is 16th.

Sultan Al Qassemi, the columnist and commentator on Arab affairs, is ranked 22nd.

El Ahmad said the rankings were based on more than just the number of followers each user had.

Instead he has used scores produced by the Klout website, which takes into account 35 variables to rate a person’s online influence. The list was based on data collected on January 21.

Earlier this month, passengers took to Twitter to call for a boycott of Qatar Airways after accusing the state-backed carrier of monopolising the local market and supporting unfair employment policies.

Online activists using the tag #BoycottQatAir blasted the airline for issues including serving alcohol on its flights and not offering discounts to local students.

The airline also came under fire for not offering a 60 percent pay rise to its Qatari employees, after the government promised the salary increase to nationals in the public sector.

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