Mideast Animation

I came across this modest story in Dubai’s Khaleej Times about locally-produced Mideast animation. It notes:

Cartoons are fast becoming a serious business in the region. New animation companies and talented creatives are gaining international attention for their inspirational characters and shows that focus on life and culture in the Middle East. …

Companies in the Middle East now see animation as big business, even though the region is a relative newcomer when it comes to producing its own content, lagging behind markets of India and South Korea.

It includes looks at such productions as “Shaabiyat Al Cartoon … a social comedy dealing with the problems of the Gulf community through the lives of people from different cultures living in Dubai” and Freej (Neighborhood),  which  “is widely seen as the first indigenous computer animated cartoon about four elderly grandmothers and their dealing with life in the fast-paced, ever-changing, modern-day Dubai.” The above video is a report on  a visit by Freej creator Mohammad Saeed Harib, when he visited Kuwait, and gave a lecture atGulf University for Science & Technology (GUST); it includes clips from the series (in Arabic), while he speaks in both English and Arabic.

Author: Harvey Deneroff

Harvey Deneroff is a Los Angeles-based independent animation and film scholar specializing in labor history. He formerly taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was editor of Animation Magazine, Animation World Magazine, and Graiffit (published by ASIFA-Hollywood). He is the founder and past president of the Society for Animation Studies.

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