Arab Social Commentary, in Cartoon Motion

Aug 5, 2010 10:25am

See below for the sociopolitical satire of Kharabeesh a cartoon studio in Jordan named after the Arabic word for ‘scribbles.’ Their website and YouTube Channel have a host of videos, we picked out some of the ones with English subtitles.


Their cartoons and web serials are edgy, tackling issues that mainstream outlets in the Arab world often won’t touch – an example of how in the Middle East the internet has created space where ideas and criticism are relatively free to roam. Kharabeesh founder and web entrepreneur Wael Attili tells me they have yet to hit the hard wall of censorship, even while putting into animation what a generation of Arabs think. We highlight issues but we don't force an opinion and we always try to present what we say in a very entertaining way, he said.




From their series ‘Khat Al Ahmar,’ or ‘red line,’ Mustache for Sale, a critique that the Arab world is losing its manhood (manhood typically symbolized by the mustache).  

Meet Uncle Sam, on how Arab leaders pander to the United States and sell each other out. 

From their series ‘Super Muhtram’ – Muhtram is an Arab everyman frustrated by social and economic realities and exploding with rage into a kind of incredible angry hulk.


Muhtram learns about  ‘Real Love,’ and what it takes to get a girl – playing on the fact that so many young Arabs are putting off marriage because they can’t afford to pay a dowry or buy a house.   


Muhtram explodes at how foreigners get better treatment in his country, and the frustration that generates. 


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