Arab comic artists among those feted by Arab Museum

Arab comic artists among those feted by Arab Museum
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Graphic artists including comics to be showcased at program organized by the Arab National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan on November 7. The program includes eight artists including two of Arab heritage. Graphic Comics are considered a powerful form of communications, especially in reaching young people

Leila Abdelrazzaq's debut Graphic Novel, Baddawi, follows the childhood of her father, a Palestinian refugee

Leila Abdelrazaq’s debut Graphic Novel, Baddawi, follows the childhood of her father, a Palestinian refugee

The Arab American National Museum will showcase the talents and creative works of women involved in the graphic arts and comics industry at an event on Nov. 7, 2015 called “ComiqueCon.”

“ComiqueCon is a one day celebration of the amazing work of female comic creators,” the Arab National Museum says. “We are super pumped to bring together some fantastically talented women and the fans who are passionate about their work. Check out our featured guests, awesome sponsors and talented exhibitors!”

The Arab National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave, in Dearborn, Michigan, offers a wide range of cultural programs and is the only museum that is dedicated to American Arab heritage.

Among the six talented artists to be showcased at the event are several Arab artists, including Leila Abdelrazaq, from Chicago and Marguerite Dabaie, of New York. Also being showcased are Nancy A. Collins, Alex De Campi, Nicole Georges, Mikki Kendall, and Marguerite Sauvage. (For full bios on all ComiqueCon” and to buy tickets, visit

Dabaie was born in San Francisco but moved to New York City in order to attend the School of Visual Arts, where she earned her BFA in cartooning, according to her bio.

While there, she was awarded two grants for her comic, The Hookah Girl and Other True Stories, an autobiography about Palestinian-Americans. The cultural differences she has felt between Arab and American cultures heavily informs her work. She is currently working on a new comic, A Voyage to Panjikant, a work of historical-fiction about Central Asians during the height of the Silk Road. As a copy editor at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, she has been able to pursue her love for art history and meticulous researching, which has also helped her with her current comic.

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Her MFA thesis that she wrote while at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Women in Middle-Eastern Comics,exemplifies her academic side. She strives to combine comic art with academia. She was awarded the Master of Fine Arts Medal during her time at FIT.

Marguerite has contributed to multiple comics anthologies throughout the years and also voluntarily created an informational comic to be passed out to diabetes patients.

Once a year, Marguerite co-hosts Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, the fest-in-a-bar, in Brooklyn.

She regularly teaches art to clients at Visiting Nurse Services, New York, as a form of therapy. She has also taught comic workshops for children and adults at various schools and libraries in the tri-state area. Speaking engagements—usually about comics—have occurred at various conferences and places of higher learning. Marguerite’s work has hung on many a gallery wall in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Italy.

Marguerite’s website is

Leila Abdelrazaq is a Chicago-based, Palestinian author, artist, and organizer. She graduated from DePaul University in 2015 with a BFA in Theatre Arts and a BA in Arabic Studies, according to her online bio.

During her time at DePaul, she served in her chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) where she helped to pass the DePaul Divest referendum, and she now serves on the National SJP Steering Committee. Leila was a participant in the 2015 Palestine Festival of Literature and is a contributor at the Electronic Intifada.

“I believe that art is an essential element of revolution, but not the solution (I am not a pacifist.) I like working with my hands and making a mess. I like to build things but I like breaking things even more. A lot of times you can find a way to do both at once. That’s where the magic is,” Abdelrazaq explains.

Leila’s debut Graphic Novel,Baddawi, follows the childhood of her father, a Palestinian refugee, as he grows up in Lebanon’s Baddawi refugee camp and Beirut amidst political turmoil and Lebanon’s Civil War. Her web page is

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is the first and only museum in the United States devoted to Arab American history and culture. Arab Americans have enriched the economic, political and cultural landscape of American life. By bringing the voices and faces of Arab Americans to mainstream audiences, we continue our commitment to dispel misconceptions about Arab Americans and other minorities. The Museum brings to light the shared experiences of immigrants and ethnic groups, paying tribute to the diversity of our nation.

For more information, visit the Arab National Museum at

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and for, and

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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