Mid-East Super Heroes

arab_hero.gif A new line of comic books featuring Middle-Eastern superheroes (like crime-fighting Zein and peacemaker Jalila) debuted last year. The SF Chronicle devotes an article to the series, which was created by Ayman Kandeel, a Cairo University economics professor who grew up with DC Comics. The series showcases “the first homegrown comic book superheroes from the Middle East.”

[A] key idea behind the series was to promote gender equality through strong female characters, an idea that activists in the region have long demanded from more mainstream media including television and film. The two female superheroes — Aya and Jalila — are models of liberation even in their daytime personas: Aya is a law student trying to free her unjustly imprisoned mother; Jalila is a nuclear scientist. Kandeel said he hopes that even in the tense political climate of the Middle East, the comic books and their heroes can offer hope for a better world. “People in this part of the world are definitely interested in learning about this alternate future view,” he said.

The comics’ distributor is Studio G. Someone please send us a copy.