A Political Cartoonist’s Worst Nightmare


The political cartooning community was shaken today by news of Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat’s beating by pro-Assad thugs. They broke his hands to stop him from drawing cartoons critical of the President.

This horrifying incident reminds me of an exchange I had earlier this summer when meeting with political cartoonists from the Middle East and North Africa through a State Department program. Naturally, a prominent topic of discussion was the freedom of speech we American cartoonists enjoy. I was on crutches thanks to a skiing accident (I’m mobile now, thank you), and I made a dumb joke, obviously tongue-in-cheek, about how the Obama administration didn’t like one of the cartoons I drew. “Ah, so you are like an Arab cartoonist!” one of the visitors joked back. The whole room laughed, maybe a little too hard. Gotta admire the bravery of the Ali Ferzats of the world.



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  • http://www.comicstripoftheday.com Mike Peterson

    No kidding. We’re playing sandbox games compared to what these heroes live with.

  • Michael Fish, Canada

    Thanks for this. I saw his website. All arabic. I couldn’y find the change pictures button. There were five or six that one could see that were very good. Cartoons are the best journalists going. Love your work.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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