Middle Eastern Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are an intriguing way to showcase flavor, culture, history, and humanity. They're typically more digestible in one sitting than novels, and can have alluring artwork that features not just an artist's style, but the culture they represent. Here are some graphic novels that feature Arab culture and created by Arab-x authors and/or illustrators.

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5 Must-read Narrative (Arab) Comix Online

ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly

If you have an interest in Arab and Arabic comix — in narrative or single-panel form — then I’d hope you follow Oum Cartoon, edited by Jonathan Guyer (@mideastxmidwest).

But here, a glimpse of five recent narrative projects:

1) Lena Merhej’s 2012 Machine / ماكينة, enigmatically subtitled”a story about drama,” is a wordless exploration of war, refugee life, protest, and violence seen through and by women’s bodies.


Merhej is one of the founders of Samandal magazine, and her evocative art was one of the reasons the magazine was convicted of crimes against religion. Her graphic novel I Think We Will Be Calmer in the Next War was one of the best-selling books in Lebanon in 2007, and her autobiographical Murabba we Laban, (Jam and Yogurt) was released in 2010. You can find more of her work at Grand Papier and new work at Solidarités International, where Merhej and others are…

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Syrian war

500,000 killed. 1.6 million internally displaced. Millions starving, cold, poverty- and war-stricken. The Syrian-American Council and Americans for a Free Syria are pushing for the end to the war. I don't know how the US can provide stability to the region, or if US intervention will lead to another Iraqi situation, where there is barely … Continue reading Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Syrian war