About the Author

From Cairo, Jonathan will focus on examining connections between cultural currents and political change across the region. He has been living and working in Egypt since 2012, where he is senior editor of the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, a policy journal published by the American University in Cairo. Managing the journal’s digital strategy, Jonathan edits the Cairo Review’s blog and books section. From 2012 to 2013, he was a Fulbright fellow researching political cartoons in Egypt. He previously served as a program associate for the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force in Washington, DC, and as assistant editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel. A frequent analyst on Public Radio International, he has contributed to Guernica, The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, New York Magazine, Nieman Reports, The Guardian, Salon, and others. His research on Egyptian satire has been cited by the Associated Press, CNN, The Economist, The Nation, New Statesman, Reuters, and TIME, as well a variety of international news outlets. A cartoonist himself, he blogs about Arabic comics and caricature at oumcartoon.tumblr.com.

2016 Excellence-in-Features Award — Jonathan Guyer

The Society for Features Journalism has recognized ICWA Fellow Jonathan Guyer as the third-place winner for General Feature in its 2016 Excellence-in-Features Awards contest.  Guyer’s winning article, The Offending Art: Political Cartooning after the Charlie Hebdo Attacks, was published by Harvard’s Neiman Reports. In the piece, he explores

Report from Qatar: What is Art without Free Speech?

Modern Painters / BlouinArtInfo.com June/July 2016 –  In a report for the global art magazine Modern Painters, Fellow Jonathan Guyer writes about why art’s biggest stars are flocking to the collecting mecca of Qatar. Guyer attended the New York Times‘ Art for Tomorrow conference in the conservative, constitutional monarchy’s capital.

“Now the Writing Starts”: An Interview with Adonis

18 April 2016 Dear Edward, In January, I had the distinct honor of meeting Adonis, the Syrian poet who is perhaps the preeminent public intellectual in the Arab world. He is an innovator of the prose poem in Arabic, a literary scholar and translator, an ardent secularist, and a lightning rod. Some background: Born Ali Ahmad Said Esber in a small village

“Now the Writing Starts”: An Interview with Adonis

In a new article on NYR Daily, ICWA Fellow Jonathan Guyer interviews Syrian poet Adonis, inventor of the Arabic prose poem and important literary figure. At 86, the Syrian luminary is a shrewd commentator on current affairs and an audacious anti-religious crusader who has come under criticism for his views on the Syrian civil war. This interview comes

The Paper, the Pen, and the President

7 March 2016 One Sunday in January, Islam Gawish was running late. The 26-year-old cartoonist, famous for sardonic stick figures published on his viral Facebook page “El-Warka” or “The Paper,” was due at the Cairo International Book Fair for a friend’s book launch. But at midday, a group of police investigators burst into the Egypt News Network,

Mad Magazines

Harper’s Magazine – In a feature released this month, Fellow Jonathan Guyer writes about the role of underground comics in Egypt. The piece focuses on cartoonist and satirist Mohamed Andeel, one of  four founders of Tok Tok, the zine that launched a politicized comics movement in the country. The feature is available online to Harper’s

A Season in Hell

21 January, 2016 Ahmed Naji is a 30-year-old journalist and novelist. When we meet for dinner in mid-December, he faces a lawsuit for “infringing on public decency” that might land him in prison for two years. State prosecutors are throwing the book at him for a sexually charged chapter of his Cairo novel Using Life, which was republished in

Remembrance of Things Past

The Cairo Review of Global Affairs – In his review of Riad Sattouf’s graphic memoir, The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984, Fellow Jonathan Guyer delves into the growing legitimacy of comics as art and “the power of alternative modes of history.” The Arab of the Future is the first in what will

Arabs of the Future: Beirut in the Present Tense

13 January 2015 I had flown to Beirut for the first annual Symposium on Arabic Comics to deliver a paper about the Franco-Syrian comic artist Riad Sattouf’s incredibly popular graphic novel, The Arab of the Future. As part of the American University of Beirut’s symposium, and kicking off the events, a top Lebanese wedding planner had designed a

Speech Bubble: A Comic Festival in Algiers

12 Nov 2015 Le Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Alger is held on hallowed ground. Between the massive Martyrs Monument and the Army Museum, the white tent city of booksellers, exhibitions, plenaries and workshops sits above the hills, upon a multi-floor shopping center of the Esplanade de Riadh El Feth. The Martyrs Monument’s distinctive