Graphic Novelist Zeina Abirached on Remembering and Forgetting Beirut

Arabic Literature (in English)

The award-winning author-illustrator Zeina Abirached was born in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War and, although she’s made numerous books as a cartoonist and illustrator, she keeps returning to the Civil War and the vanished Beirut that was razed and rebuilt after the war’s end, which is as much a character as it is a location in her work. 

Alex Dueben talked to Abirached about this city, absent and present:  


Abirached’s two graphic novels which have been translated into English, A Game for Swallows, especially, and I Remember Beirut, which was published in the United States last year, show her trying to depict the city and to express a child’s vision of what happened during the war, not so much for the purposes of memoir but to reclaim a history that has been largely ignored or avoided by those constructing official histories. Her black and white artwork, like with…

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