Posts Tagged ‘ middle east/north africa ’

Egyptian Cartoonist Featured in New Documentary

March 14, 2017
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Egyptian Cartoonist Featured in New Documentary

The new documentary Tickling Giants puts the spotlight on the important role of satire and humor in political dissent–in this case, Egyptian heart surgeon-turned-comedian Bassem Youssef, who launched a Daily Show-inspired TV program in the midst of the Arab Spring in 2011. Featured alongside Youssef is Andeel, one of Egypt’s best-known indie cartoonists, who contributed…

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After Ban, Saudi Cartoonist Walks a Fine Line

February 9, 2017
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After Ban, Saudi Cartoonist Walks a Fine Line

In January 2016 the popular Saudi political cartoonist Abdullah Jaber seemingly disappeared from social media, fueling speculation among fans and colleagues as to what might have befallen him. He finally resurfaced 10 days later to quell rumors of arrest or worse, but also announced that the kingdom’s government had banned him from distributing cartoons for…

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Freed from Prison, Egyptian Novelist Naji Thanks Supporters Worldwide

December 29, 2016
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Freed from Prison, Egyptian Novelist Naji Thanks Supporters Worldwide

A few days after being freed from prison last week, Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji posted a long message to Facebook thanking the supporters who stood by him during his trial and 10-month incarceration for “violating public modesty” with an excerpt from his novel Using Life that was published in a state-owned newspaper. Naji’s reprieve may…

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Exiled Syrian Cartoonist: “Drawing is the Strongest Weapon Against the Regime”

December 22, 2016
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Exiled Syrian Cartoonist: “Drawing is the Strongest Weapon Against the Regime”

Five years ago as the Arab Spring swept through the Middle East, Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat sensed a tipping point when it became his responsibility to help “break people’s fear,” in his words. Whereas his cartoons previously relied on oblique symbolism to get his message across, he instead began to draw direct caricatures of…

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BBC’s 100 Women Includes Barrier-Breaking Middle Eastern Cartoonists

December 9, 2016
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Willis from Tunis: We Can Do It!

Every year, the BBC puts the spotlight on influential women around the world for its 100 Women series. For 2016, the list includes three Middle Eastern cartoonists fighting for women’s rights and freedom of expression: Doaa Eladl in Egypt, Riham Elhour in Morocco, and Nadia Khiari in Tunisia. A few years ago, we reported on Doaa…

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Egyptian MPs Recommend Pardon for Jailed Novelist Naji

December 6, 2016
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Egyptian MPs Recommend Pardon for Jailed Novelist Naji

Jailed Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji was included on a parliamentary committee’s list of recommended pardons sent to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday, the same day that the next hearing in Naji’s appeal of a conviction for “violating public modesty” with an excerpt from his book Use of Life was adjourned until December 18. Use…

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Egyptian Court Rejects Naji’s Third Appeal for Release

November 30, 2016
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Egyptian Court Rejects Naji’s Third Appeal for Release

A Cairo court on Saturday rejected author Ahmed Naji’s third appeal for release from prison, where he has now served 10 months of a two-year sentence for “violating public modesty” with an excerpt from his book Use of Life which was reprinted in a state-owned newspaper in 2014. Naji still may have a chance at…

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Jailed Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji Files New Appeal for Release

November 16, 2016
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Jailed Egyptian Novelist Ahmed Naji Files New Appeal for Release

Egyptian author Ahmed Naji, jailed since February after being convicted of “violating public modesty” with an excerpt from his novel Use of Life, is launching a new appeal for release after the government agreed to review the cases of political prisoners. Two previous appeals have already failed, most recently in August, and Naji is reportedly…

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Jordanian Writer Charged With Blasphemy for Sharing Cartoon

August 16, 2016
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Jordanian Writer Charged With Blasphemy for Sharing Cartoon

A Jordanian writer turned himself in over the weekend to face charges of insulting Islam with a cartoon that he shared on Facebook intending to mock the worldview of ISIS fighters. Nahed Hattar, a controversial left-wing Christian columnist and staunch supporter of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, is currently jailed in Amman pending an investigation. The…

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Exiled Egyptian Creator Tackles Big Issues in Dystopian Webcomic

July 27, 2016
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Exiled Egyptian Creator Tackles Big Issues in Dystopian Webcomic

In the immediate wake of the 2011 Tahrir Square uprising, the Egyptian graphic designer and comic creator who goes by Ganzeer gained notoriety as a street artist, painting murals of protesters who had died in the struggle. But in the tumultuous years that followed, he was forced to flee the country after being labeled a…

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