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Comics on MideastYouth.com
Soooo I got tired of doing journal comics about my life a long time ago, but I still like making journal comics. I wanted to do the same thing, only about other people's lives, preferably far far away. The solution? Mideastyouth.com!

I found this great site one day while surfing for mideast type news, and its a great website. I hesitate to call it a blog; its more like a collection of students, journalists, and activists from the middle east, Iran, asia, the US, all writing, podcasting and videocasting (if thats a word) about issues that affect their lives and societies. The attitude at MEY is very positive and open minded, and the political disagreements that happen in the comments section are more like discussions and less like the usual screeching and shouting that happens on the web.

I liked them so much I asked if I could work with them to bring to life my other-peoples-journal-comics project. I'm a big mushy idealist, and the hope is that by sharing the little personal stories of people from countries that are often really abstract to us in the US (as well as to other countries or eachother) we can become more engaged with the "other" and see how much we have in common. Well I can only speak for myself I guess, but I didnt know much about Syria outside of their connection to Hezbollah before, and the same goes for way too many countries that I read about all the time.

So here's MEY comic number two, written by Tala who is from Syria. Check out the website too! Its great, I promise.
www.mideastyouth.com

Tala's Story (page 1)

Tala's Story (page 2)

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Comments
From: oharlene Date: March 7th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Such a neat idea, Sarah. I like the first panel especially.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 7th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a wonderful idea. Thank you for the comic and for the link. I can see this becoming something very exciting and important.
squinkyelo From: squinkyelo Date: March 7th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a good comic! The drawing and pacing and story and everything.

I have been thinking for a while about wanting to do reportage comics, and wanting to tell real stories that matter... but I'm cowardly, and keep thinking, "I'd have to take a class, I'd have to go back to school, I'd have to learn how to talk to people, I'd have to buy a tape recorder" etc etc etc. And then I look on LJ today and you've just gone ahead and started doing it!

I want to be more brave, because when I look back on the comics I've written in my life, I want them to be comics that could maybe possibly somehow make a difference, like this one.

Are you gonna keep posting these on LJ? Did you ask people for individual anecdotes? Are you working from photos? Did they send you their own photos? I'm interested in the process...
kidglidden From: kidglidden Date: March 7th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
But your comics do make a difference! Fiction is so important! It changes the way we think and relate to the real world. I mean, you should make reportage too because I bet it would be amazing but make no mistake, your comics have a big impact.

For these ones I talked to the director of the website and she was into the idea and gave me a few stories of her own to choose from and then later emailed me her friend Tala's story. Now the big test will be to see if the readers on the site submit their own stories. I hope theyre not too shy.

I was really worried that people would send in a story without any visual description and so far thats been the case, but I used Flickr to get an idea of what architecture or dress looks like in Syria. We'll see what happens with future stories though. I'm really afraid of getting something drastically wrong and insulting someone through my own ignorance by accident but I guess that will be part of the process too. This way I kind of get to travel to these places that I cant afford to fly to by drawing them!

This is the introductory post I put on the MEY website. Hopefully I did an OK job of explaining the whole thing to people but I'm not so good at that sometimes...

http://www.mideastyouth.com/2008/03/06/introducing-comics-to-mideast-youth/

and yes! i think ill keep posting them here!
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kidglidden
Name: kidglidden
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