Posts Tagged ‘ middle east/north africa ’

Ahmed Naji to Face Trial Again for Book Excerpt

January 10, 2018
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Ahmed Naji to Face Trial Again for Book Excerpt

Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji will be tried a third time for “harming public morality” with an excerpt from his book Use of Life which was reprinted in Akhbar al-Adab newspaper in 2014. Naji was previously convicted and sentenced to two years in prison last year; he served 10 months of the sentence before his conviction…

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Egypt’s Garage Dedicated to Creative Freedom in Comics

December 19, 2017
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Egypt’s Garage Dedicated to Creative Freedom in Comics

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the international hot spot for vibrant, surreal indie comics, for the past several years at least, is the Middle East and North Africa. Much of the innovation comes from Egypt, where occasionally published comic serials like Toktok and the feminist Shakmagia have flourished since the hope-filled days…

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Egyptian Police Raid Indie Press, Arrest Volunteer for ‘Posession of Unregistered Books’

November 22, 2017
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Egyptian Police Raid Indie Press, Arrest Volunteer for ‘Posession of Unregistered Books’

Egyptian police on Sunday raided the office of a small independent press, Merit Publishing House, and detained a volunteer staff member for “being in possession of unregistered books without ISBNs,” implying they likely weren’t approved by government censors. The same staff member, Mohamed Zein, was briefly detained in 2015 for the same alleged offense. Since…

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Two Libya Comic Con Organizers Released Without Charge

November 21, 2017
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Two Libya Comic Con Organizers Released Without Charge

Two of the five Libya Comic Con organizers who were detained by an armed militia when the show was raided and shut down on November 3 have now been released without charge, according to a report from the independent news site Libya Herald. The militia known as RADA Special Deterrence Forces, which acts as a…

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Libya Comic Con Shut Down by Militia; Organizers Detained

November 6, 2017
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Libya Comic Con Shut Down by Militia; Organizers Detained

Libya’s second annual comic con was cut short on Friday when it was stormed by armed militia forces who shut down the event and detained about 20 people. Most have since been released — not exactly unscathed — but the militia says six organizers of the show will be turned over to prosecutors for “attack…

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Saudi Government Approves Girls Revolution Comics

August 7, 2017
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Saudi Government Approves Girls Revolution Comics

Earlier this year, comics fans in Saudi Arabia made an unexpectedly strong showing at the kingdom’s first officially sanctioned Comic Con, where both men and women eagerly browsed their favorite books and showed off their cosplay–albeit not without restrictions. Also launched at that event was a series that imagines a far different future: Saudi Girls…

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Report Highlights Cartoonists Under Threat Worldwide

June 16, 2017
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Report Highlights Cartoonists Under Threat Worldwide

Two years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo staff, the world’s free expression focus has largely shifted away from cartoonists. That certainly does not mean the danger has disappeared, however, as a recent 30-page report from the French nonprofit Cartooning for Peace/Dessins Pour la Paix shows. The report brings together profiles of cartoonists under threat…

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Egyptian Court Vacates Ahmed Naji Conviction, Orders Retrial

May 22, 2017
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Egyptian Court Vacates Ahmed Naji Conviction, Orders Retrial

An Egyptian court yesterday ordered a retrial for novelist Ahmed Naji, who spent 10 months in prison for “violating public modesty” with an excerpt from his book Use of Life which was reprinted in the state-owned Akhbar al-Adab newspaper. Naji had been sentenced to two years, but was released from prison in December pending an…

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Farghadani Gives Firsthand Account of Imprisonment for Cartoon

May 17, 2017
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Farghadani Gives Firsthand Account of Imprisonment for Cartoon

Just over a year ago, Iranian artist and activist Atena Farghadani was released from prison after 18 months. Her so-called crime: drawing Iranian MPs as apes and bovines while they debated a bill toban voluntary sterilization procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligations. In a recent episode of Amnesty International’s podcast “In Their Own Words,”…

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Syrian Cartoonists Persevere Despite Chaos

April 28, 2017
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Syrian Cartoonists Persevere Despite Chaos

Six years after Syria’s uprising began, the future of the country is far from certain. But one surprising result of the turbulence is already apparent: an abrupt flowering of cartoons, comic magazines, and animated shorts spreading mostly through rebel-held areas and refugee camps. The website Syria Untold recently featured a selection of the sequential art…

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