The Conversation: Kharabeesh Cartoons

Arab political cartoons find fun in taking down dictators.

March 31, 2011 -- Kharabeesh Cartoons is the Arab world's version of JibJab. Both media companies use comedy, cartoons, pop culture and politics to not only make people laugh but also to make them think.

"We are developing cartoons and animations that reflect the stories and the imagination of young Arabs all over the place," said Wael Attili, one of the co-founders of Kharabeesh. "We want to be the next Pixar or the next Walt Disney of the Internet for the Arab world."

The company, based in Amman, Jordan, was founded in 2008, and its videos that poke fun at Middle East dictators have rapidly gained popularity as unrest continues to spread throughout the region. Their parodies "Mubarak is high" and "Gaddafi speech in Libya" each have more than 750,000 views on YouTube.

"We were able to feel the pulse of the Arab street," said Attili. "These cartoons definitely put us on a different level and a different place. Now we started to speak to a wider audience and we started to become more like pan-Arab."

Attili believes a little laughter is exactly what the Arab world could use during this time of political instability.

"This is what we need, a little bit of humor inside this big dark image that we always see. ... Humor has a power to reform and has a power to give us a new perspective on things."

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