Cairo: A Graphic Novel ~ G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Perker

cairoThis is a fantastic graphic novel that follows three unlikely pairs on an advenuture that takes them through the underworld of present day Cairo. Ashraf, a drug-runner, sets this tale in motion when he sells a stolen hookah to a naive tourist. When the hookah turns out to be more valuable than he realized, Ashraf must find the hookah and return it in order to save the lives of his journalist friend Ali and a young American woman who have been kidnapped by the drug-lord’s thugs. The wonderfully drawn characters drew me into this story.  By pairing Ashraf with an Israeli soldier, a selfish American idealist and an Egyptian journalist and a would-be suicide bomber with a Jinn, Wilson blurs the lines of difference.  The characters are forced to look beyond their own needs and therefore gain a better understanding of those who they might consider their enemies. What makes this action-packed graphic novel more than another adventure story is the way that Wilson subtly addresses the politics of the Middle East. If that bit sounds to serious, don’t worry. The novel is fast-paced and full of demons, gangsters, myth and a little romance. The appearance of Rumi’s beloved Shams is a real treat.

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