AUB Libraries Online Exhibits

Melhem Imad/Charles Jackson Bird Caricature Collection (1973 - 1975)

This collection includes around 90 editorial cartoons published in the daily Al-Hayat by the Lebanese Cartoonist Melhem Imad (1939-2017). The collection spans over a two year period between 1973 and 1975. The cartoons wittily and critically depict the political and socio-economic scene of Lebanon and the region, as well as the events that escalated into the eruption of the Lebanese civil war in April of 1975. Among the issues that the caricatures poignantly tackle are the problem of inflation, the Arab/Israeli conflict, parliamentary elections, foreign policy and international affairs, and the rising political tension between the coalitions of political parties.The collection is an important source for scholars interested in Anthropology, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Visual Culture.

Melhem Imad (1939-2017) was a Lebanese cartoonist, born in the town of Deir el Ahmar. In 1962 Melhem Imad began drawing editorial cartoons for the magazine and newspapers "Al-Sayyad", "al Siyasa" and "Beirut al Masaa’." He later traveled to Egypt to publish his work in "Rose Al-Youssef" and "Sabah el Kheir" Magazines. Melhem Imad returned to Lebanon to work with "Al Hayat" newspaper from 1962 until 1975, and other Lebanese newspapers and magazines namely "Al Bayrak", "Al Duniya" "Al-Liwaa’", "al Jamhour al Jadeed “, “Nida’ al Watan"," Al Sharq ", "Al Shams ", " Al Nidal " and " al Diyar " among others. Starting in 1975, Melhem Imad worked at the Journal "Al Kifa7 al ‘Arabi," and the children’s comics magazine "Samer for Children" and "Basariya". From 1977 until the eighties throughout different periods he worked with “Al Anbaa’” Journal from Kuwait, and "AL Akhbar" from Jordan. In the early nineties, he worked in "Al Mashriq” (the Orient) Television. A number of his drawings were published in several international newspapers and magazines, taken from his work in the Hayat newspaper. He published three books of his cartoons and participated in several local and international exhibitions, including the Cartoon Conference held in London in 1970. He passed away in 2017.

The donor of the collection, Mr. Charles Jackson Bird is an AUB Alumnus (MA Political Studies ’78); and a Former Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, and a past Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch and Global Manager, Zurich Insurance Group; Graduate, Adelphi University. Mr. Bird worked at The Daily Star from 1970-1976, when these pieces were created by Mr. Imad. Mr. Bird rescued them from being discarded. Mr. Bird donated the collection to AUB in 2017.