AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

Protest and Contention

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بيروت- رياق، رحلة مصورة لمحطات السكة الحديدية – تراين مفقود -  جويل حداد – تحرير لينا غايبة – 2013

The Arab world has recently witnessed a vibrant comics scene, with a boom of comics titles appearing in a variety of genres every year across the Arab world. These titles are published in a variety of languages ( Arabic, English and French), and in different formats (serials, magazines, graphic novels, digitally, etc.). A few notable serial publications include: Samandal (Lebanon), Toktok (Egypt), Mukhber 619 (Tunisia), and al Dushma (Egypt). A plethora of graphic novels and comic strips have also been published on a variety of topics (politics, biography, mystery, etc.), and illustrated in a variety of styles and techniques, e.g. Metro (Shafei, Egypt), La Mere (Kerbaj, Lebanon), Persepolis (Satrapi, Iran), Madina Mujawira lil Ard (Muhayya, Lebanon), etc.


توك توك - جمعة الغضب - العدد 11 – محمد صلاح - السنة 2014

A significant portion of these new titles are addressed to an adult audience: their dark humor and sharp commentaries on bleak and complex contemporary affairs make them very popular with a young Arab generation seeking change. Many graphic novel titles and serials are in fact directly related, dedicated to and/or inspired by the events of the recent uprisings throughout the Arab world (with a special emphasis on Egypt, Tunis and Libya). Many offer a powerful critique by oppositional groups of existing regimes.


الدشمة إعرف حقوقك، العدد 3، صرصرة فوق الفيل – قصة محمد ربيع – رسوم أحمد عبد المجيد – القاهرة: مركز هشام مبارك، 2012

With a biting sense of humor and irony at the fast and often absurd shifts on the socio-political scenes which have been taking place throughout many Arab countries, these publications continue to bear witness to the current state of affairs throughout the Arab world.

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تنابلة الصبيان - تمبول الأول - قصة ورسوم حجازي – بيروت: دار الفتى العربي للنشر والتوزيع

The tradition of using comics as tools in contentious politics did not start in the Arab world in 2011. As early as the mid-1960s, illustrator Ahmad Hijazi published in Samir a series titled “al-Tanabilah al-Sibyan / التنابلة الصبيان”. When Hijazi moved to Dar al-Fata al-Arabi in Beirut, he took the series with him and published the Dar’s first children comic book under the title “Tambul the First / تمبول الأول”, which featured the story of a popular revolution against a lazy and greedy king. The resonances between Hijazi's al-Tanabilah al-Sibyan, and some contemporary comics on the current events in Egypt are a fascinating testimony to the power of comics to mock, change, resist, laugh and inspire!

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المنشور، كومكس – المنتدى الإشتراكي – 2015

On to our present moment in Lebanon where the influx of Syrian refugees has sparked an unfortunate wave of xenophobia. Al Manshur, a magazine published by the Socialist Forum, recounts in this comic strip the stigmas around Syrian refugees in order to debunk them.

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سكف كف: خانز وبنين-  العدد 3 – عثمان السالمي - كازابلانكا، المغرب: اوبن ثقافة، 2013