Leila Abdul Razzaq is a Palestinian-American cartoonist and creator of Baddawi, a graphic novel blog that tells the story of her father, who grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Baddawi camp in northern Lebanon. She uses the process of drawing his story as a way of exploring and understanding aspects of his life and youth.
Leila, who grew up in Chicago and Korea, says Baddawi is not a tribute to her father, but rather a tribute to displaced Palestinians across the world. “As Palestinians, it is our responsibility to hang on to our heritage and our history, because it’s something that is being erased. We have to take control of our narrative because it is something that is being manipulated. We must maintain our identities as Palestinians in order to fight Zionism and the ethnic cleansing that it produces. For those of us in the shatat, it’s not so much an ethnic cleansing that erases us from Palestine, but one in which Palestine is being erased from us.”
Baddawi, which is heavily influenced by Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, is set to by published by Just World Books in spring of 2015. You can check out Leila’s work on her website, or on Facebook.
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