Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How Do You Say "Toontown" in Arabic?


It takes a lot of work to understand another culture's perspective, but Shujaat, the cartoonist for Al-Jazeera's Web site, makes it a lot easier. The artist's stand-alone cartoons have been made into short animations and posted on Al-Jazeera's English-language Web site, where gringo viewers like myself can get a window on Arab concerns without mediators.

Shujaat's cartoons demonstrate that language matters. In "Drop It," an Israeli vice premier is shown carelessly saying that the Palestinian refusal to disarm resistance groups has dropped a "cluster bomb" on chances of renewing peace talks. You can guess what comes next: Israeli jets dropping actual cluster bombs on a hillside town in Gaza. (The jets are clearly American-made F-16s, by the way.)

None of this is particularly highbrow, but as a sort of Arab Herblock, Shujaat is equally frank about do-nothing Arab leaders, Arab lip service to pan-Arab brotherhood, and anemic Western aid to Afghanistan and Africa, and is worth following regularly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's said Aalam arrousoum al moutaharrika

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