Justin Bieber: WORLDWIDE!

June 28, 2013

aatw feature

We call him a worldwide phenomenon yet the extent of his fandom is (surprisingly) an understatement. As we observe from our own corner of the world weather it be in a cold Northern town in Canada, his native country, or the sunny streets of Southern California, he remains the biggest hit the music world has endured in more than a decade. A fan or not, this descriptions effortlessly guided your mind to the 19-year-old superstar, Justin Bieber.

Admittedly a fan, I sometimes wonder, “is he really THAT big?” What is meant by this thought is my mere disbelief of how such an ordinary person can rise to a level of stardom where millions place him on a pedestal to worship. But alas, it’s true. The truth in it oozes through his songs, his tweets and the silly instagram photos he offers to those who will have them. It seems he was readily born to fit the mold of his current pop-prince reign, like destiny.

The longer I follow him and his success the more I believe I understand how big he has really gotten. It wasn’t until a recent trip to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey that I gained a new understanding of Justin Bieber’s fame.

 no doubt feature

 A yearly family vacation always comes in due time to leave the everyday stress, worry and responsibility behind. However along with the “real” world that is left back home, so is the “Bieber” world. The everyday tweeting frenzies I witness among fans and even Justin himself is put on pause during these travels. Why? Roaming fees on iPhones are really damn expensive! Especially in Europe.

My first site of Bieber was in a small outdoor bazaar hours after I had landed in Istanbul, Turkey. Rugs and sheets separated the small shops selling handmade novelties. These man-made corridors that made up the maze of the bazaar were flowing with unfamiliar faces of a culture I’m only half familiar with (by blood). So it was to my surprise to wander into a small area and see a face I was all-too-well familiar with. Justin Bieber! Well, a poster of him at least.

To those who can stretch their memory, this poster dated back to 2010. A full head-to-toe poster of little Bieber on the set of the Baby music video. The purpose of the poster wasn’t for sale, but for photographing. Young girls had lined up waiting to get a picture with the two-dimensional star. I had to excuse myself of a photograph as the 10 hour flight from Canada had done no favors to my looks, but the smiles plastered on the kids’ faces waiting for their turn was priceless.

On the other side of the world, in a crowded maze of a man-made bazaar, Bieber Fever was in full effect and it was putting smiles onto children’s faces.


My next destination was to a quant island off the Mediterranean. We had found the most remote place where we could get the furthest away from civilization. Simple, minimal, are a few words that explained the place. To stretch your modern imaginations, the only source of public Internet was a small café in the center of the island. Walking into the café I wasn’t surprised to see it filled with young kids, mostly girls glued to the screens. As I sat down trying to browse through the mass notifications I had missed in the mere 5 days of my absence, I heard the infamous gasp of Oh My BIEBER! I turned around to notice a group of young girls ogling over Justin Bieber’s latest instagram updates. What my forgotten and half-fluent Turkish helped me understand was that Justin was “so hot in that last photo.” I couldn’t help but laugh as the girls planned out their strategies to tweet him certain things at certain times to get that ever-so desired twitter follow.

Culture, traditions, oceans and thousands of miles separate countries around the world. However because of one boy with limitless talent and an extraordinary dream, fans all around the world share one love in common. A love for Justin Bieber.

A fan or not, you’re still speaking his name. He is still making music. He is still living his dream. And he is still, and will forever bring people together from all around the world.

-Sara Soulati


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