Arab countries’ political, social and economic realities affect their nationals’ dreams.
We spend a third of our lives sleeping. What if we can unlock the mystery of what happens in our subconscious minds when we’re asleep? Are our dreams connected to one another? Does our local environment influence what we dream? What if we had a tool that can analyze hundreds of thousands of people’s dreams to reveal statistically significant data about dream trends people share in each geographic location. And what if this dream analyzing tool finally exists? It is called Jawabkom.
What have Arabs been dreaming about in their sleep during the conflict over Al Aqsa and the Syrian migration crisis? As we continue to wonder if countries’ realities affect citizens’ wellbeing in the land of sleep, the Arab World’s largest question-and-answer website Jawabkom reveals thought-provoking answers.
Jawabkom connects over 6 million registered Arabic-speakers with professional practitioners in fields such as; law, nutrition, IT, health, auto repair, and dream interpretation. The company analyzed more than 10,000 dreams per Arab country, submitted by users since September this year.
According to Jawabkom’s data, top keywords used in Palestinian users’ dreams are “chasing me”, “mosque”, “attacking me”, “Palestine” and “lion”. The set of words alludes to the conflict over Al Aqsa Mosque.
“We’ve found the same result across the board, confirming that countries’ political and economic circumstances affect citizens’ dreams. Top keywords in troubled countries were dark, tense and express fear or worry. On the other hand, keywords in stable and wealthy Arab nations were calmer, sometimes even vague, a sign of stability and peace of mind,” Raed Malhas, CEO of Jawabkom, said.
To shed more light on Malhas’s conclusion, Jawabkom found that the most popular keywords in Syrians’ dreams are “scream”, “oppressors”, “cave”, “injuries”, “cold”, “lost”, “frightening”, “reside” and “leave”. These words paint a picture of war and displacement; further confirming that a country’s political instability directly affects the subconscious dreams of locals.
The top words used in the dreams Egyptians posted on Jawabkom were “flag”, and “land”, which could be suggesting Egyptians’ desire to establish a stable and growing country now that elections have commenced.
For Iraqis, top words found in dreams were “fire”, “neighbors” and “weak”. These could be stemming from local instability and a lack of control over surroundings.
We found a feeling of unease in Libya, where the most popular words in dreams included “scorpion”, “paralyzed” and “leaving”. The combination perhaps expresses common struggles experienced by asylum seekers, including the paralysis caused by the difficulty to leave a homeland.
As for Lebanon, where politics is usually unpredictable, among the top keywords were “demolishes” and “prayers”, pointing to volatility of the country’s political landscape.
In some cases, however, grievances didn’t have to exist within the country itself for them to be at the forefront of dreamers’ minds. Jordan, which falls between warzones and is home to refugee influxes, shows that anxiety from its neighbors has leaked in. Top keywords found in Jordanians’ dreams were “my home”, “my children”.
These dreams, however, contrast sharply with those Jawabkom found in the GCC, where political and economic stability prevail. In Saudi Arabia, top keywords were “my husband”, “my mother” and “pregnant”, suggesting that family dynamics are an important subject on people’s minds in the Kingdom.
In United Arab Emirates, keywords such as “door”, “car” and “ring” were the most common in people’s dreams. On the other hand, the top keyword found in the dreams of Kuwaitis was “large”, and “prince” in Qataris’ dreams.
Do Arabs feel with one another?
Owing to these results, Jawabkom was also curious to test the idea of Arab unity. Do Arabs feel with each other? Jawabkom explored the question by digging in to see if Syrians were on our minds during the migration crisis. Dream data showed they were. The countries that dreamt the most about “Syria” or “Syrians”, with at least a few hundred dreams having those keywords, were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria, Qatar and Egypt, respectively.
Jawabkom, which was founded a year and a half ago by ex-Microsoft veterans Raed Malhas and Deniz Erkan, used its enormous database of user generated inquiries to extract these dream results that opens a window in the Arabs’ subconscious minds. Jawabkom connects over 6 million registered Arabic-speakers with professional practitioners in fields such as; law, nutrition, IT, health, auto repair, and dream interpretation. It has received more than 6 million questions today. As a destination for Arabic speakers’ inquiries on social, legal, medical and political issues, Jawabkom is also quickly evolving as a regional resource of data and statistics on the general behaviors, concerns, trends and interests of the Arab online user.
“Besides aiming to become one of the largest online trusted brands in the Arab world, I’m hoping we can build the largest dream database ever created. Imagine having a database with tens of millions of dreams that you can slice and analyze geographically, demographically, periodically, and more. That is a dream on its own” said Raed Malhas, CEO of Jawabkom.