Looking for quick reads to expand your knowledge of the history and culture of countries in the Middle East? Start with these 3 powerful and gorgeously illustrated graphic novels:
Lebanon: A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirached
This novel takes place in during civil war in Beirut, Lebanon that started in 1975. Zeina and her brother face an evening of apprehension when their parents do not return from a visit to the other side of the city.
Iran: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
In powerful black and white drawings, Marjane Satrapi tells of her childhood in the 70s and 80s growing up in Tehran. She saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution and loss of freedoms that accompanied this, as well as the devastating effects of war with Iraq. There is also a film adaptation of Persepolis
Turkey: Dare to Disappoint by Özge Samancı
Chicago artist Özge Samancı tells of her early life growing up in Turkey and her journey to find her way when there is a lot of pressure for her to go into math or engineering, neither of which is really her thing. There are also some political and historical references, (Atatürk and others) throughout the book.