SINGAPORE - Popular video blogger Nuseir Yassin, better known as the creator of Nas Daily, said goodbye to fans in Singapore a few days early on Sunday afternoon (Sept 2).
More than 700 people turned up for a farewell meet-up at Mediacorp's MES Theatre near One-North for the 26-year-old, who is famous for the one-minute travel videos he produces on his Facebook channel.
Speaking to The Straits Times after the two-hour event, Mr Yassin said that the word he would use to describe Singapore is "fun", adding that the country made him feel he could stay here and belong.
"I was pretty nervous coming to Singapore at first because I thought I would run out of ideas... I was a dumb tourist, only knew it was a finance hub and didn't know anything about the locals. But Singapore completely changed my mind," he said.
He added that he had zero regrets and was proud about the work he had done on Singapore, stating that not just any TV channel or tourist could have done it.
"To capture what matters to Singaporeans, to us, to people outside, and reflecting the local reality to people who don't live here, that's a hard task. This is why I like what we do."
The vlogger enlisted the audience's help at Sunday's gathering to pitch new ideas for another video on Singapore. Ideas that were raised by the audience included the use of Singlish, ministerial pay, and gay rights.
Since arriving, Mr Yassin has been producing several videos on Singapore, including those featuring its waste management system and the lives of ordinary Singaporeans ("Crazy Poor Asians"). His videos about the city-state have racked up more than 40 million views in total since the first one was posted on Facebook on Aug 23, and have been shared widely by locals and international followers alike.
On Sunday, over half of the audience at the meet-up indicated that they were also at the first meet-up with Mr Yassin last week, including Mr Amin Mas, 34, from Sri Lanka.
The Aug 22 event at the Singapore Sports Hub drew over 700 people on a day’s notice.
Mr Amin said of Mr Yassin: “I find his videos very educational. For example, despite having lived and worked here for more than seven years, I did not know about Singapore’s landfill system before he did a video on it.”
Singaporean fan Olivia Ong said that she has watched Nas Daily videos for over two years and respects the dedication and effort Mr Yassin puts into his clips.
“I felt the Singapore videos were pretty accurate, although the one on ‘Crazy Poor Asians’ probably overcompensated a bit and made the average Singaporean seem a bit poorer than we actually are,” said the 26-year-old business analyst.
Mr Yassin revealed to fans that the next video would be about Newater, Singapore's brand of recycled water, and joked on stage that he should be getting paid for it.
ST reported on Friday that some netizens had accused him of being sponsored by the authorities here due to the largely positive content of his videos. Mr Yassin later said on Facebook that his videos were not sponsored and added that he felt disheartened that his works were being discredited due to "unfounded allegations".
On Sunday, Mr Yassin told ST that not many people expect someone to be positive without being paid.
"But this reflects badly on them, rather than on me. If you don't think something is worth celebrating just because of your political orientation, then it reflects badly on you, because you can't see beyond politics," he added.
Although Sunday's event was meant to be a farewell, Mr Yassin shared that he would in fact be staying in Singapore for another three or four days. His visa application to Indonesia, the next planned destination, had been rejected.
"It's too sensitive to admit an Israeli right now. And I'm not just a normal tourist, I'm a video blogger... I can see how my presence would get politicised."
He said that he hopes his Singaporean fans will continue to watch the videos even if these are not about their country.
"I hope they will still watch even if it's about a place that's 10 thousand miles away. Because as good as Singapore is, it can be even better, and that's what Nas Daily is about - finding the best in the world," he said.