The Power of Cartoons 1 - Crazy Crab from China
The Power of Cartoons 3 - Jerm from South Africa

The Power of Cartoons 2 - Amr Okasha from Egypt

This series was produced in a partnership with Dutch magazine Nieuwe Liefde. Eight of our cartoonists talk about cartoons that were controversial or that got them in trouble. The interviews run in the March issue of Nieuwe Liefde magazine, and will be published in English here on the blog. The interviews were conducted by Julia Ploum. Today's cartoonist: Amr Okasha from Egypt

Amr Okasha

Amr Okasha is a cartoonist and satiric writer for the Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd, published by the liberal-democratic Wafd-party.

What inspired you to make this cartoon and what were the consequences?

‘A cartoon like this is not easily published in an Arab newspaper, especially not in the Arab countries that witnessed the rise of political Islam, such as Egypt or Tunisia. This cartoon is considered to be a very provocative and controversial cartoon for many Arab audiences, particularly Islamists. It might encourage violent actions by those who wanted to express their anger. This might include an attack towards the newspaper or me.’

In which ways is freedom of press restricted in your country?

‘During the current Morsi regime our freedom became highly restricted. Whoever criticizes the ruling Freedom and Justice Party that claims to represent Islam, finds himself being accused of insulting Islam. The most dangerous thing is that such parties and religious trends are inciting people against those who criticize them. As a political cartoonist, I'm facing more tension and challenges than during Mubarak’s regime. I received incredibly insulting messages via Facebook account. The building of the Wafd-party headquarter and newspaper I work for has been attacked after accusation of being anti-Islamic by Salafists. We receive threats daily. Also, a number of journalists and cartoonists (such as Doaa Eladl) is sued for insulting the president and Islam.’

How, in your opinion, can cartoons contribute to greater freedom?

‘I am convinced they can; cartoons are faster in delivering the message than thousands of words. It takes a while to read an article and be convinced by the writer, but understanding a cartoon takes less than a minute. I believe that European support is needed for cartoons depicting abuse of power in Arab countries. European attention decreases the suppression by ‘religious’ parties claiming to represent Islam. Such parties fear external pressure and their main concern is not to upset international powers like the United States.’


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Hello all who are interested in publishing their pictures in our newspaper is not afraid of one and respect the free pen only
And Hedda Gazette LINK :

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