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 under the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. 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.
In addition to the Mahmoud Kahil Award, the initiative organizes an annual symposium on comics to promote and advance the field and to encourage the publication of scholarly and artistic works on comics.
The initiative also offers courses, workshops and organizes exhibitions pertaining to comics throughout the year, as well as offering support to various local and regional festivals.