Ink & Insights: Dive Into Palestine’s Resistance With These Graphic Novels

Even though it suffered ongoing violence since the 1940s, since the October 7 attacks, Palestine today has been placed in the limelight and is at the forefront of every media outlet as well as social media.

Beyond Instagram upgrades on rising death tolls and destroyed buildings by on-ground journalists, there are many other ways to better understand occupied Palestine and its political history.

A great way to dive into the country is by reading the special collection of immersive and artsy books known as graphic novels. We present to you a special collection of graphic novels that showcase the Palestinian narrative in a new way:

Palestine By Joe Sacco

Back in 1991, Maltese-American journalist Joe Sacco was smack dab in Palestine itself, spending several months in the occupied territories of the country during the first Intifada. Out of that experience came his 1996 graphic novel dubbed Palestine, which was originally published as a series from 1993 to 1995.

He offers readers a look at the checkpoint-filled world of occupied Palestine back in the 1990s explored through dark humor. He also explores the many challenges faced by Palestinians during that time. Today, he’s known as the first comic book journalist who transformed the possibilities of traditional journalism.

Jerusalem: Chronicles From The Holy City By Guy Delisle

Known as an acclaimed graphic memoirist, Guy Delisle wrote a thoughtful travelogue about what life is like in the holy city of Jerusalem. In his fourth travelogue “Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City,” he showcases what daily life is like in a city that not many people are able to visit.

In the graphic novel, as he himself got to live in East Jerusalem, he showcases the life of the people there, which is made up of checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays.

Reading the book, you’ll notice his signature self-deprecating humor as well as his dive into rich topics like religion. The book also showcases the melting pot of religions and cultures, as Jerusalem is a place where Jews, Christians, and Muslims have yet to learn how to live together in peace.

Power Born Of Dreams: My Story Is Palestine By Mohammad Sabaaneh

A book all about the occupation, the loss of one’s home, and the need for hope are all ways to describe Palestinian Cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh’s “Power Born of Dreams: My Story is Palestine.”

This particular graphic novel is the kind of work that can come out of someone who lived through the strife of being a political prisoner in Israel. That was the fate of Sabaaneh.

Taking a deep dive into what freedom looks like from the inside of an Israeli prison, Sabaaneh taps into his creativity to present a story of a bird that comes to the prison cell window with a special deal.

The bird promises the prisoner that it’ll share stories of family, community, Gaza, and the West Bank, and from there comes a dive into memory and intergenerational trauma between the bird and the prisoner.

Footnotes In Gaza By Joe Sacco

The Comic Journalist Sacco has once again made it on our list, which goes to show his prowess at depicting the complexities of life in occupied Palestine. In a 400-page long graphic novel called “Footnotes in Gaza,” Sacco explores the Israeli military attack on Palestinians living in Khan Younis and Rafah during the 1956 Suez Crisis.

‘Baddawi’ By Leila Abdelrazaq

Taking a step away from occupied Palestine and taking a look at what life is like in foreign exile is the graphic novel “Baddawi.” Palestinian Author Leila Abdlerazaq takes readers on a journey to Lebanon where the sole focus is a Palestinian family living in exile as refugees.

Raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in the North of Lebanon, the book centers around Ahmed, one of thousands of Palestinians who fled their country during the 1948 war. We get to see Ahmed as he tries to create a life for himself in the new foreign land while maintaining ties and a connection to his homeland of Palestine.

Each of these illustrated works showcases occupied Palestine during signature moments in its devastating timeline as well as the multiple ways the Palestinian people coped with the ongoing tragic events.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t Miss…Displaying Talent & Passion: A Look Inside CairoComix And Its Extraordinary Artists