Superheroes are popular throughout the world just like they’re popular in America. And a group of Egyptian artists have created their own superhero comic book series, transliterated as El3osba. The series contains some typical superhero adventures. But it also focuses on real-life issues, including what the creators see as a loss of Egyptian identity.
Youssra el-Sharkawy reported on June 7 in Al-Monitor that “Egyptian writers John Maher and Maged Raafat, working with artist Ahmed Raafat (the Raafats are not related), have created six Egyptian heroes of different backgrounds.” The superheroes’ adventures appear in the El3osba comic book series, with the article noting that “El3osba” is “derived from the Arabic word to mean ‘the gang.’”
El3osba’s targeted audience is 15-29 year-olds, and according to the article, its stories are more than just entertainment; they also address “societal problems.” A loss of nationalist identity is one such problem.
One villain, for example, is called Set, named after the ancient Egyptian god who represented disorder. In El3osba, Set tries to undermine the Egyptian identity; through him, the writers tackle the idea of how Egyptian identity has disappeared or changed.
I have no opinion on El3osba. I haven’t read it and so I can neither recommend it nor advise to avoid it. However, in a day and age when American elites view American nationalists with utter contempt, it’s fascinating to see how people from other countries unabashedly take pride in their nations and cultures too.
El3osba is primarily available in Arabic. However, its creators are now translating it into English a few pages at a time and publishing those pages for free on Facebook.
Header image courtesy of the officialEl3osbaTwitter account.