Mahmoud Kahil Award 2018

Mahmoud Kahil Award 2018

Organized under the Mu’taz & Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative at the AUB


Mahmoud Kahil Award 2018 goes to artists

From Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine


Sherif Arafa (Egypt) from Al Ittihad newspaper (UAE)

Wins the Editorial Cartoons Award


The Graphic Novels award goes to Seif Eddine Nechi (Tunisia)

Mohamed Salah (Egypt) wins under the Comic Strips category


The Graphic Illustrations/infographics award goes to Tracy Chahwan (Lebanon)

and the Children’s Book Illustrations award to Walid Taher (Egypt)


The Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame award goes

To the late Palestinian caricaturist Naji Al Ali


The International Comic Strips Festival of Algiers (FIBDA)

Wins The Comics Guardian honorary award


Egyptian artist Sherif Arafa won the Mahmoud Kahil Award Under the Editorial Cartoons’ category, one of the awards given for the third consecutive year by the Mu’taz & Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

The winners’ names were announced for the various categories by Initiative director Lina Ghaibeh during a press conference held this wednesday at AUB’s Memari Auditorium, Olayan school of business, in the presence of Mu’taz Sawwaf and the jury members.

Sherif Arafa, whose comics are published by the UAE daily Al Ittihad since 2011, had previously worked in Rose AlYoussef newspaper and magazine from 1999 until 2010.

Seif Eddine Nechi (Tunisia) won the Graphic Novels category award. The Comic Strips award went to Egyptian artist Mohamed Salah, whereas Graphic Illustrations/infographics award went to Tracy Chahwan (Lebanon). Egyptian national Walid Taher won the Children’s Book Illustrations award.

The Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame honorary award, recognizing an outstanding dedication and service for a minimum of 25 years in the fields of comics, cartoons and illustration, went to the late Palestinian caricaturist Naji Al Ali, who was assassinated in London in 1987. Al Ali, who used to sign his works with his character Hanzala, had worked for many Kuwaiti newspapers, including Al Taliaa, Al Seyassah and Al Qabas, as well the Lebanese newspaper Assafir.  

The Comics Guardian award, another honorary prize recognizing those who have extensively supported comics and cartoons in the Arab world through preserving, collecting, promoting, publishing, teaching or exhibiting this Art, went to Dalila Nedjm, director the International Comic Strips Festival of Algiers (FIBDA).

Over 737 artworks were submitted to this year’s edition, from more than most of the Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Kuwait, Yemen, Algeria,  Libya, Tunisia, Sudan & Morocco. The submissions included 270 editorial cartoons, 174 graphic illustrations, 140 children’s book illustrations, 140 comic strips and 13 graphic novels.

The list of runner-ups included Fares Korra Bet( Syria) and Osama Hajjaj (Jordan) in Editorial Cartoons category; Mostafa Youssef (Egypt) and Deena Mohamed (Egypt) in the Graphic Novel category; Karen Keyrouz (Lebanon) and Abir Gasmi (Tunisia) in the Comic Strips category; Maya Fidawi (Lebanon) and Muhammad Mustafa (Egypt) in the Graphic Illustrations/infographics category; Mona Yakzan (Lebanon) and Hassan Manasrah (Jordan) in the Children's Book Illustration category.

The jury included British editorial cartoonist and writer Martin Rowson, whose cartoons appear frequently in The Guardian and the Daily Mirror, Danish art historian Louise C. Larsen, co-founder of the Museum of Danish Cartoon Art, renowned Lebanese editorial cartoonist and comics artist George Khoury, Iraqi cartoonist and painter of books and magazines for children Ali al-Mandalawi, Lebanese visual narrator and co-founder of  «Samandal » (Salamander) magazine Lena Merhej, and Algerian Comic artist, illustrator and graphic designer Rym Mokhtari

The aim of the Mahmoud Kahil Award is to promote the art of comics, editorial cartoons and illustration in the Arab world through the recognition of the rich talent and creative achievements of professional artists in the region

The award is named in honor of the late Mahmoud Kahil, a celebrated leading Lebanese cartoonist and caricaturist of the Arab World, and a graduate of AUB.

The Mahmoud Kahil Award is under the Mu’taz and Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative at AUB, an academic body at the American University of Beirut, established in September 2014

The Arab Comics Initiative aims to facilitate the interdisciplinary research of Arabic comics, promote the production, scholarship and teaching of comics, and develop and maintain a repository of Arabic Comics literature.


the press conference


Winners and jury


The winners


Tracy Chehwan


Mouhammad Salah


Sherif Arafa


Walid Taher


Sefeddine Nechi