Doaa ElAdl Exhibition + Book Review

Doaa ElAdl is a major Egyptian cartoonist known for her satirical work targeting political, social and religious ideologies. She currently works as an illustrator for the well-known newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. And was included in BBC’s 100 women, a well deserved declaration for such an inspiring, creative and strong woman.

I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Doaa ElAdl’s exhibition and book signing on 23/02 in the American University in Cairo Tahrir Campus.

The exhibition was packed. There was media coverage, an entertainer, and a long line of people just waiting to take pictures and get their book signed. Exhibiting were some of the cartoons that were included in the book.

near the entrance, one of Doaa's well known cartoons

I bought the book and got complementary stickers of some of ElAdl’s cartoons that I immediately and shamelessly put on my laptop.

Her book is called "50 cartoons and more on women." It is in Arabic, English and French, and it addresses the laws and societal expectations that undermine women's roles. From right to inheritance to underage marriage, ElAdl just shoots right into these ridiculous beliefs with her missiles of creativity and imagination.

 

one of my favourites in the exhibition; addressing female genital mutilation in Egypt. Also included in her book.

Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

The book is incredible! I actually didn't know a lot of details about the laws that undermined women, I mean I knew they were there but I didn't realise how literal and "official" they were. But the way ElAdl challenged these ridiculous problems was flawless.  I thought I should share some of my favourites without giving too much away.

 Here ElAdl addresses the crime of adultery in Egypt and how it discriminates between men and women with the consequences they face. According to the Egyptian Penal Code, a man is only accused of adultery if he was found at that moment with another woman, and can be sentenced to almost 6 months of imprisonment AND he can suspend the sentence. The woman however, with any kind of proof can be sentenced to almost two years without the right to suspend her sentence.  Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

Here ElAdl addresses the crime of adultery in Egypt and how it discriminates between men and women with the consequences they face. According to the Egyptian Penal Code, a man is only accused of adultery if he was found at that moment with another woman, and can be sentenced to almost 6 months of imprisonment AND he can suspend the sentence. The woman however, with any kind of proof can be sentenced to almost two years without the right to suspend her sentence.

Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

  In-text translation: My soul will never be defeated.  This illustration addresses the sexual harassment of female protesters at the time of the revolution and several protesting events after.  Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

In-text translation: My soul will never be defeated. This illustration addresses the sexual harassment of female protesters at the time of the revolution and several protesting events after.

Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

 This is something I did not know about the government. In many places in Egypt, especially impoverished villages, minors marry wealthy arabs or foreigners for a short period of time then get divorced. What our lovely government did instead of confront this issue is set a law in 2015 stating that the foreign husband must pay a sum of 50,000 Egyptian Pounds to the girl if he is 25 years her senior. So you can imagine this phenomenon did nothing but increase the events of child marriage.  Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

This is something I did not know about the government. In many places in Egypt, especially impoverished villages, minors marry wealthy arabs or foreigners for a short period of time then get divorced. What our lovely government did instead of confront this issue is set a law in 2015 stating that the foreign husband must pay a sum of 50,000 Egyptian Pounds to the girl if he is 25 years her senior. So you can imagine this phenomenon did nothing but increase the events of child marriage.

Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

 Let's end on a better note. This is my absolute favourite. (For non-Arabic speakers: her handbag is actually the word "No" in Arabic) It's all about being free and doing whatever it is you please. So say no whenever the hell you want ladies. You have every right.  Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

Let's end on a better note. This is my absolute favourite. (For non-Arabic speakers: her handbag is actually the word "No" in Arabic) It's all about being free and doing whatever it is you please. So say no whenever the hell you want ladies. You have every right.

Image courtesy of Doaa ElAdl

Okay, I think that's enough. If you liked the above cartoons then I desperately advise you to buy the book! It can be found in the following bookstores:

Falak Bookstore, Garden City

Virgin Megastore, City Stars branch

Elbalad bookstore, Mohandessin

Other bookstores to be announced. Stay up to date with her work and follow Doaa ElAdl’s facebook page