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Arab Superwomen Fight Convention as Comics Draw New Middle East

By Salma El Wardany and Caroline Alexander - 2013-11-06T08:20:59Z

Image courtesy of Jihen Ben Mahmoud

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Arab comics appeared in Egypt in the 1920s and took the form of political cartoons for the first few decades, according to Nadim Damluji, who is writing a history of the genre in the Middle East. Over the years, there have been some Arab superheroines and leading female characters. In the 1980s, wife and husband team Samira Shafik and Ihab Shaker introduced Egyptians to the adventures of Shamsa and Dana. In 2006 Malaak appeared and Kuwaiti-born psychologist Naif al-Mutawa unveiled THE 99, a team of Muslim superheroes including several women, who became so popular they featured in Marvel Comics alongside Superman and Batman.

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