Arab comics and cartoons in Amsterdam

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

The Netherlands Press Museum is presenting an exhibition of Arab comics and cartoons in Amsterdam on Friday 21th. The exhibition Shouf!Qra! (See! Read!) recounts the history of Arab comics. Some of the artists whose work and story are on display are Lena Merhej from Lebanon, Tunisian comic artist Gihen ben Mahmoud who is famous for her female heroes and the Egyptian founder of the TokTok magazine, Mohammed Shennawy.
The exhibition also includes the cartoons that won the Cartoon Spring competition, organised by Radio Netherlands Worldwide earlier this year. Young cartoonists from the Arab world expressed their views about the Arab Spring and its future. The winner was Jordanian cartoonist Omar Abdallat with his 'Tweet of Freedom'. 
Iraqi cartoonist Kifah al-Reefi will launch the exhibition, together with Dutch cartoon specialist Joost Pollmann and Pieter Broertjes, a former journalist and now mayor of Hilversum, the Dutch media city. Al-Reefi lives in the Netherlands and was member of the jury for the Cartoon Spring competition.
The Press Museum specialises in media issues and freedom of expression. The Shouf!Qra exhibition will remain on display in Amsterdam until the end of 2012. 
Click here to see the winners of RNW's Cartoon Spring competition