Pictures speak louder than words

Arab press prefers cartoons over hard coverage of Iranian unrest.

July 12, 2009 23:07
1 minute read.
Pictures speak louder than words

anti-iran cartoon 248. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

When it comes to addressing the current unrest in Iran in Arab media, pictures speak louder than words. Since last month's Iranian elections, Arab newspapers have been writing relatively little about the contested elections and subsequent protests. But the wave of political cartoons on the subject has overwhelmed the lack of news stories and op-eds. These cartoons tend to be opposed to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's place in power and harsh ruling tactics. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), topics include "the popular uprising, the vote-rigging, and the distortion of the democratic process during the elections, as well as Iran's pseudo-democracy and the question of who was the real election victor." In the cartoon "Iranian Elections" by Muhammad Saba'ne published in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published in the Palestinian Authority last month, a ballot box is attached to a toilet, indicating that the election votes were flushed away, poking fun at the supposedly democratic progress. Cartoonist Amjad Rasmi drew a cartoon for Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published in London titled "Iranian Regime's Vain Attempts to Stop Coverage of Protests" that depicts Iran trying to block out the sun with a sieve as a metaphor for the government hopelessly attempting to stop coverage of protests. "The Iranian Regime's Suppression of the Civil Revolt" by Abdullah Jaber shows a dying Iranian protester lying next to a sign that reads "Where Are Our Votes?" in Arabic. These are just a few samples of the myriad of illustrations used to portray suspicion and disgust toward the Iranian regime in the Arab press. According to Al-Jazeera's Web site, cartoons represent "policies and practices of Arab governments and Arab rulers," with intent to enable English readers all over the world "to know about the impact of the policies" on Arabic nations. While most of the Saudi Arabian press's cartoons are about the effect of Israeli and American governments on Arab countries, such stories are taking a backseat to internal struggles as far as Iran is concerned in the realm of political cartoons.

Related Content

July 16, 2018
Mass protests sweep Iraq, target pro-Iran militias and parties