Kharabeesh Cartoons, “Le Journal Du Zaba 001-003”

Kharabeesh cartoons, often referred to, as the Arab version of Jibjab is a Jordanian Company that uses a combination of cartoons, comedy and politics to spread not only laughter but also, an underlying message about current affairs in the Arab world. Their productions included mockeries of the leaders of the time. Kharabeesh produced “le journal Du Zaba” shortly after the Tunisian president, Ben Ali fled his country.  All 3 episodes follow the events of and after Ben Ali’s exit. They include fictional conversations with presidents of other Arab Nations and his wife. The first episode starts with Ben Ali fleeing his country in a private airplane, looking for a State leader willing to take him up as a guest. No one agrees until the Saudi king Abdullah finally accepts him. The second episode unravels the peculiar relationship he shared with his wife Leila. Further, the third episode shows Ben Ali more relaxed and rejecting all the pleasof the same leaders he had asked for help.

Kharabeesh, used Youtube as their main mode of circulation. Using social media at this crucial time of instability aided in its spread. Further, the cartoon used different forms of Arabic, excluding Standard Arabic and also included English and French subtitles. Thus making the cartoons viewable and understandable to the greater global audience. The Arab Spring did not concern only the Arab world. It was a matter of international concern. Every news channel, and newspaperheadlined the occurrences of the Arab Spring. And, most of the coverage was serious but Kharabeesh offered a slightly humorous view to it, which further encouraged it’s worldwide reception. However, with the quick proliferation ofthese videos people were able to get a different view of the issue and the importance of the issue only spread farther after this.

Between January 2011, and now the videos have around one million views. The use of Social Media, as opposed to any other form of media turned out to be the main reason for its successful spread. All these features and the plurilingualism that Schulthies speaks about contribute to the transnational impact it had.

The links can be found at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHya2xHA episode 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqVmJ6yfkXo&feature=relmfu episode 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hatYvvJPm4s&feature=relmfu episode 3

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