AUB Libraries Online Exhibits


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غلاف مجلة سمير – العدد 474 - تهامي – مصر: دار الهلال، 1965

Samir was published in 1956 by Dar al-Hilal, and was one of the most widely read comic serials in Egypt and the Arab world. It led the path in creating original content that is deeply entrenched in Arab popular culture and social history. Employing new artistic and printing techniques, Samir replaced muddy dull colors which had until then defined  most children books and magazines illustrations, and devised and featured sharp, cutting edge, vibrant illustrations characterized by full, lively and deep colors. Samir employed some of the most talented illustrators and writers on its staff, including giants such as Hijazi, Bahgat, al-Labbad, Adli Rizkallah, etc.



مجلة سمير - العدد 1100 – مصر: دار الهلال، 1977

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قصة ثورتنا البيضاء في 12 عاما من خلال طوابع البريد- مجلة سمير - عدد خاص – مصر: دار الهلال، 1964

Samir introduced the serialized comic book layout in Arabic, and gave its readers a gift with every issue. It engaged Arab children with locally crafted characters and stories, while weaving in traditional characters and stressing pedagogical and moral issues. It also introduced famous Western comics characters to Arab audiences, e.g. Samir was the first comics magazine to introduce  Tintin stories and Disney characters in serialized translations to an Arab audience. In a way, Samir forged a real dialogue between European and Arab grassroots comics and illustrations.


غلاف مجلة سمير – العدد 446 - تهامي – مصر: دار الهلال، 1964

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غلاف مجلة سمير – العدد 480 - تهامي – مصر: دار الهلال، 1965

But most of all, Samir did not shun away from tackling the complex and thorny political questions of the time. Samir was unapologetically political, explicit and spot on. Contemporary issues related to Arab nationalism and local politics featured prominently on its (cover) stories: indeed, Samir reflected the pulse of the time. It crystallized, gave voice to and shaped the political and social concerns, thoughts, ideas, dreams and aspirations of a whole generation of Arab children and adults.

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غلاف مجلة سمير – العدد 450 - تهامي – مصر: دار الهلال، 1964