Who I follow on Twitter, and why
I joined Twitter in 2010 while we were in Egypt and then didn't get on there much until early 2011 when the Arab Spring started. Then all of a sudden Twitter was THE place to go for news and updates, since official local news channels in the area were blocked or down. I've used Twitter regularly ever since, though increasingly for non-Arab-Spring reasons (obviously). I feel like the list of people I follow is pretty eclectic and makes for an often jarring feed filled with odd juxtapositions. But maybe everyone's Twitter experience is like that?
Anyway, here's who I follow and why.*
Arab world news/commentary
@QueenRania (the Queen of Jordan). @HHShkMohd (Prime Minister of the UAE). @BenCNN (Journalist Ben Wedeman - he had an excellent feed on the Arab Spring and still tweets interesting links and comments). @jrug (Jonathan Rugman, same). @AymanM (Ayman Mohyeldin, same times a million trillion). @stephenstarr (Stephen Starr, Syria specialist). @SultanAlQassemi (Sultan Al Qassemi, Sharjah native and sayer of interesting things, also an art and architecture aficionado).
Good for a laugh/interesting links/insightful life commentary
@chrissyteigen (Chrissy Teigen. People I followed kept retweeting her so I just followed her directly instead). @jet_set (same!). @jessiejensen (Jessica Jensen. Her tweeting is so consistently solid that she is the first person I recommended my brother follow when he joined Twitter yesterday). @shannonhale (author Shannon Hale. This woman has SUCH a fierce heart. She inspires me). @EricDSnider (Eric D. Snider. His might be the first account I followed when I joined Twitter eight years ago). @andrewheiss (Andrew Heiss, with a great mix of family stuff, academia stuff, and stats stuff. His brain...I just...). @bycommonconsent (By Common Consent, skews Mormon but has plenty of other things to say).
@FrankRGardner (Frank Gardner, author of Blood and Sand. I almost put him up in the Arab news category but he tweets enough about having his wheelchair mishandled at Heathrow that I think he belongs here). @HalaGorani (CNN International journalist, and a lady crush of mine since 2002). @fuggirls (Heather & Jessica, interesting pop culture and fashion with a side of FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE-type links). @kairyssdal (Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace). @mckaycoppins (McKay Coppins. I wish he would tweet even more!). I also follow The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and The Economist.
@BearGrylls (Bear Grylls).
Literally in a category all her own
@NicoleCliffe (Nicole Cliffe. Don't get too attached because she does Twitter detoxes fairly regularly and they last a long time but when she is there, Twitter is a better place).
*This list does not include infrequent tweeters or those who mainly retweet things (no shade - I would include myself in such a category) or straight-up, boring, personal-interest-based follows like @Yanni or whatever.