The Mu'taz and Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative is an academic body for the study of Arabic comics at the American University of Beirut. It aims to elevate and facilitate the interdisciplinary research of Arabic comics, promote the production, scholarship and teaching of comics, and develop and maintain a repository of Arabic comics literature. The initiative is hoped to eventually develop into an Arabic Comics Center that would act as a hub for the study of this Arabic cultural heritage and a platform for the interdisciplinary inquiry and specialized teaching of this art form.
This initiative, made possible with the generous donation of Mr. Mu’taz and Mrs. Rada Sawwaf, builds on AUB’s rich resources including its diverse body of scholars and professors from various disciplines, its reputation of excellence in the region and its professionally equipped and staffed library with its archiving and digital curating services.
Additionally, the Initiative will host the Mahmoud Kahil Awards with an awards ceremony, which will recognize great Arab talents in the field of comics. This will be in conjunction with an annual conference to promote and advance the field and to encourage the publication of artistic and scholarly works on comics.
The Mahmoud Kahil Award
The Mahmoud Kahil Award aims to promote comics and illustration in the Arab world through the recognition of the rich talent and creative achievement of comics artists, cartoonists and illustrators in the region. An open call to submit work to one or more of 5 categories is made annually. Additionally, nominations for two honorary awards are produced by the select jury, then voted on and presented at the annual awards ceremony.