Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Being a Cartoonist In Iraq

There's nothing better than a comic cartoon to tell a serious issue in a humorous way. That's why I like cartoons and cartoonists. Iraqi cartoonists made me laugh even under Saddam's surveillance systems. Those cartoonists were heroes in their own way.

With the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, the Iraqi cartoonists started to draw lines with their black pens without fear of the government's reaction. But now, they have to face a different kind of fear. The fear of being killed by the militant gangs because their cartoons mock the violence conducted by those criminals. Still, they're determined to continue their work.

Tom Perry reports:
Iraqi cartoonist Muayed Naima had to wait 35 years before he could draw what was on his mind.

But since Saddam Hussein was toppled, he has faced new pressure from Islamist militants who have threatened him because his work mocks their violence. He is not put off.

"Oppression is our past. This is about democracy," Naima said. "I must continue."

One of his recent cartoons depicts a militant measuring the neck of a bound victim and choosing from an array of numbered knives with which to behead him.

"It shows that killing is the only concern of these people," Naima said. "When you mock the people who are undertaking these acts, you are making others aware that these acts are illegal and immoral."

And if you wonder which cartoon I check daily, the answer is "Wizard of Id." I find it very funny.

Arabic Word of The Post:

fear: خوف - / 'khawf /

Post Links:
Iraqi Cartoonists Mock Militants and America Alike
Wizard of Id

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