Posts Tagged ‘ middle east/north africa ’

Iraqi Cartoonist’s Work a Labor of Love

May 14, 2015
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Iraqi Cartoonist’s Work a Labor of Love

In the tumultuous years since the US-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein, the country’s media landscape has changed dramatically for everyone–including political cartoonists. In a recent interview from the online magazine Sampsonia Way, cartoonist Saad Murtadha discussed what’s changed, the difficulties he still faces, and his vision for the future…

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Anime News Network Highlights Banned Manga

May 5, 2015
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Anime News Network Highlights Banned Manga

A recent feature from Anime News Network about 7 Manga Banned Around the Globe brought to our attention a few instances of manga censorship that we haven’t covered because they predate our news blog by a few years. We did some digging to see what we could turn up, so read on for more! Perhaps…

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Mosul Book Burning Recalls Cultural Genocides of Centuries Past

March 4, 2015
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Mosul Book Burning Recalls Cultural Genocides of Centuries Past

In light of the devastating news last week that Islamic State extremists apparently burned part or all of the public library collection in the Iraqi city of Mosul, CBLDF general counsel Robert Corn-Revere contributed a comprehensive overview of book burnings throughout history that was published on the Daily Beast. From the destruction of the great…

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Iranian Cartoonist’s Memoir Recounts Detention and Exile

February 27, 2015
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Iranian Cartoonist’s Memoir Recounts Detention and Exile

In 2006, Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani was arrested and imprisoned for three months for drawing a children’s cartoon. In his memoir An Iranian Metamorphosis, he tells the surreal tale of his detention and eventual exile from his native country — an extreme example of the difficulties faced by cartoonists all over the world. Originally published…

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Palestinian Cartoonist Questioned About Possible Mohammed Cartoon

February 10, 2015
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Palestinian Cartoonist Questioned About Possible Mohammed Cartoon

Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh is under investigation for drawing a cartoon that was widely interpreted as depicting the Prophet Mohammed, although the artist himself insists the figure was only a symbolic representation of the Muslim faith. Only a short time after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas marched in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo in Paris, he…

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Cartoonists Often Forced into Exile

January 23, 2015
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Cartoonists Often Forced into Exile

Another stark reminder of the dangers faced by political cartoonists around the world, particularly in the Middle East, was brought up in a recent article by the New Statesman’s Anoosh Chakelian. Cartoonists who refuse to self-censor are often forced to choose between fleeing the country or living in constant fear of physical or legal repercussions…

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Zunar Calls for World Cartoonists Day on Anniversary of Charlie Hebdo Attack

January 9, 2015
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Zunar Calls for World Cartoonists Day on Anniversary of Charlie Hebdo Attack

In the wake of this week’s attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo which killed 12 people including five cartoonists, their Malaysian colleague Zunar is calling for a “World Cartoonists Day” to be observed annually on January 7th. Zunar, who is Muslim himself and has faced constant censorship and harassment from the Malaysian government,…

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Middle Eastern Comics Battle Terrorist Ideologies

December 3, 2014
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Aranim's manga-flavored One Thousand and One Nights

In light of increasingly successful terrorist recruitment tactics which are now drawing disaffected young people from around the world to join ISIL in the Middle East, one Jordanian man firmly believes that the solution may lie in comic books. For the past eight years, Suleiman Bakhit has dedicated his career to creating new Arab heroes…

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Militants Call for Death of The 99 Creator

July 14, 2014
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Militants Call for Death of The 99 Creator

Last week the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the militant group better known as ISIS, took a brief timeout from overtaking cities in Iraq to call for the death of Kuwaiti-American comic creator Naif Al-Mutawa. They claimed on Twitter that his series The 99 is “slanderous to Islam” and that “there is no good…

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Middle Eastern Online Bookseller Puts Spotlight on Banned Books

June 10, 2014
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Middle Eastern Online Bookseller Puts Spotlight on Banned Books

Hoping to overwhelm censors, the founder of Middle Eastern online bookstore Jamalon announced last week that the site will launch a section devoted to books that have been banned in any of the 22 countries it serves. This is not only a gesture in support of intellectual freedom, says Ala Alsallal; it’s also good business.…

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