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The Lot of North Africa’s Political Cartoonists isn’t an Easy One

In their native countries, many of these artistic activists’ face censorship, persecution, imprisonment or worse, for putting pen to paper. Sudanese political artist Khalid Albaih lives in Denmark. His caricatures & criticism of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, have made it impossible for him to live in his homeland. Through countless exhibitions and via social media, the activist has been tirelessly trying to dispel mistruths about Sudan and the wider region. Most famously, his works were emblazoned on walls and banners across the Middle East & North Africa, by protesters and street artists during the Arab Spring. Keen to connect the global artistic community, Albaih founded a digital platform called FADAA, putting artists in touch with patrons offering them places to showcase their work. His aim is to build an artistic ecosystem and foster a creative sharing community in the MENA region, whilst promoting freedom of speech. One of Egypt’s most famous and influential female cartoonists is Doaa el-Adl. She is bravely drawing lines through global religious & political stereotypes, whilst highlighting the plight of women in her country by touching upon socially taboo topics like divorce & domestic violence. Embarking upon her career 13 years ago, el-Adl initially struggled to be accepted into the male-dominated cartooning industry. More serious challenges, however, have come in recent times, from political & religious groups threatening her personal safety and looking to silence her.