A Jordanian science enthusiast has quickly attracted a growing following on social media, all eager to learn from her postings on physics and how it relates to our daily lives.
ABU DHABI // New planets, teleportation and how radar works are just some of the topics covered by Salam Katanani, a social-media blogger who has attracted 35,000 followers on Instagram in six months.
The 28-year-old Jordanian broadcasts videos of herself talking about theories of astronomy, cosmology, physics and philosophy, but humanises the topics by relating it to our daily lives in a simple yet humorous way.
Katanani decided to pursue blogging after being encouraged by friends and family.
“I started by sharing bits and pieces of information with my close friends and relatives and they liked the idea and started to convince me to go public and share it with the world,” she says.
Last July, Katanani created her Instagram page and started sharing her thoughts on facts about science and physics.
“Physics tells you how almost everything works and there is a good connection between physics, astronomy, cosmology and philosophy,” she says.
“I try as much as I can to share something useful each day. I simply talk about stuff that I learn. I just share whatever facts and concepts I find interesting during my searches.”
Katanani has been working in the aviation industry for almost nine years. She is the mother of a three-year-old girl, Ayla, who sometimes appears in her mother’s 60-second videos.
“I’ve been a science enthusiast for as long as I can remember. I spend a lot of my free time looking up stuff and reading. When I’m stressed I go for a jog or a drive, or impersonate Batman to entertain my daughter, and it instantly lifts my mood,” she says.
“Information is all around us, we just don’t look for it. Whether it is in a book, an article or a documentary, the world is full of knowledge that is waiting to be discovered. But we must know the difference between scientific and non-scientific arguments and look for trusted sources of information.”
Katanani believes she can learn something from anyone through communicating with them.
“We underestimate intelligent conversations, therefore we need to realise that everyone you meet knows something you don’t,” says Katanani, who also has 15,000 followers on Facebook and Snapchat, figures that are increasing.
“I started with Instagram then Snapchat. I recently started a Facebook page for those who want to see full versions of my videos, since Snapchat deletes stories in 24 hours and Instagram limits videos to one minute,” she says.
“It’s sometimes overwhelming when I get amazing messages from people telling me that I am very thought-provoking and I trigger their curiosity about the world. I also get questions about books they can read.”
Katanani speaks in Arabic in most of her videos and would love to take her show across broadcasting platforms to reach a wider audience.
“I am quite occupied with my daughter and my job, but I plan to continue to share what I learn, correct misconceptions and talk about the wonders we have in our Universe.
“If the chance arises, I would start my own show that presents scientific content in a new -approach in the Arab world.”
Katanani can be found on Instagram and Snapchat as @salamkatanani and on Facebook by searching for her name, Salam Katanani.