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The role of cartoons in the Egyptian revolution

Over at E&P Rob Tornoe writes about Egyptian editorial cartoonist Sherif Arafa and his role in the Egyptian revolution.

As Egyptians protested by the thousands in the streets of Cairo in the weeks leading up to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, the government attempted to respond by cracking down on the media and shutting down the nation’s Internet.
But Mubarak should have known that the shutdown wouldn’t prevent top Egyptian cartoonist Sherif Arafa from drawing about the corrupt leadership trying to retain power. After all, the ancient Egyptians were the first civilization in history to have editorial cartoons, so it’s fitting that cartoons would come into play in the historic overthrow of Mubarak’s government.

Arafa is an interesting guy. A dentist by trade, he has drawn cartoons for 10 years at the state-run Rosa el-Youssef magazine in Egypt, struggling daily to give voice to criticism of the regime without triggering the censors in a country where free speech is too often trampled

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