"Caricature… The Laughing Tragedy",
" content analysis of Caricatures and cartoons published in Egyptian newspapers namely "Alakhbar- Alahram- Alwafd- Alaraby- Alosbou'- Sawt Aloma- Alahaly- Rose Alyossef magazine" during the period from March 1st to December 31st 2005".

prepared by
Saeed Abdel Hafiz

6/1/2006

Dedication...
To the soul of the great artist " Salah Jahin "


"Caricature is the trick that enables you to swallow medicine without feeling its bitterness"
Zohdi

"Caricature is not just a joke, but it is one of change and disinfection weapons in society"
Toghan

Team work : Mahmoud Darwish Yousra Saad Al Dein Howida Bndas Ahmed Salman Zainab Abdullah Preface:
The forum is issuing its report "Caricature… The Laughing Tragedy", this report contains content analysis of Caricatures and cartoons published in Egyptian newspapers namely "Alakhbar- Alahram- Alwafd- Alaraby- Alosbou'- Sawt Aloma- Alahaly- Rose Alyossef magazine" during the period from March 1st to December 31st 2005. This quantitative report is the third of its kind that is issued by Developmental Media Program (one of the Forum's programs) which aims at giving a closer look at issues and problems of human rights in Egypt through analyzing the relevant materials published in Egyptian newspapers. The final goal of the program is to help expanding the scope of freedom of publication on issues related to human rights and development in Egypt.

The first report of the forum was issued in June 18th 2005; it was titled "Petitions' Confluence" and it contained content analysis of petition pages in 7 Egyptian newspapers focusing on human rights and development. The first part of the report covered the period starting from January 1st to April 31st 2005. The second report was issued in July 12th 2005 under the title "Poverty Crimes in Egypt" it contained content analysis of crime pages in 5 Egyptian newspapers namely "Alakhbar- Alahram- Alwafd- Alosbou'- Sawt Aloma". The gave special attention to crimes that were mainly motivated because of poverty.

This third report "Caricature… The Laughing Tragedy", which was issued in January 16th 2006, tries to find out to what extent Caricature is used in a way that helps adopting and defending human rights related issues in Egypt. The forum decided to focus on Caricature because of its importance that is derived from its role in define the problems of the society in short sentences supported by attractive cartoons that can attract both intellectuals and limited cultured persons.

The methodology used in the report to analyze the content of Caricature depends on human rights' standards that are:
    First: The right to participation Second: The right to food, health care and housing Third: The right to education Fourth: The right to work Fifth: Children's rights to social and health care, and protection against abuse and violence. Sixth: Workers right to negotiate to get suitable wage, work conditions, and to work in safe atmosphere. Seventh: The right to land, especially to those who depend on land to support their living. Eighths: The right of equality. Ninth: Right to protect environment; as the right to food, health care and housing must depend on protection of environment from pollution and deterioration. Tenth: Individuals' right to take whatever administrative procedures required to protect them and their interests from abuse.

The Forum depended on concepts of human rights and sustainable development to analyze complaints of citizens with the aim of heightening these rights and spreading them in addition to help Egyptian newspapers pay more attention to human rights and development related issues.
The report is divided into three sections:
  • Section One: it contains an introduction and general observations about the contents of the report.
  • Section Two: explains the content analysis of the Caricatures and cartoons.

  • Section Three: contains the conclusion, recommendations and appendixes.

    The Forum hopes that this report helps achieving the overall goal of the forum to activating the ole of Egyptian newspapers in adopting and publishing human rights related issues and problems.


Section One
Introduction:

The word "Caricature" is driven from the Italian word "cairicatare" or "caircate" which means "exaggeration". There is no doubt that caricature plays an influential social and political important role; in the social area caricature can illustrate sufferings of citizens through high tackling the issues of the society, analyzing economic problems and explaining different shortcomings.

On the other hand political caricature can make real differences in the society in favor of suppressed classes through criticizing the status quo and unjust practices in the political life. In addition caricature helps newspapers and magazines look better through lessening taking some space among columns of words which might be boring for the reader, at the same time caricature has a real contribution in affirming the role newspapers play as a means of communication between individuals and society. Caricature also is capable of bold dealing with different societal problems as it can escape different types of censorship, thus it is possible to say that caricature has the mechanisms to correct the negatives of the society faster that written words can do, specially that it much easier to be conceived by readers.

According to most of the relevant studies, caricature is a Pharaonic art; many temples (such as Hapo temple) contain caricatures and cartoons, these caricatures were very exaggerating in expressing parts of human body because of depending on the legends prevailing at that time. In ancient Greece, the beginnings of caricature art emerged through an artist called Bosten who was mentioned by Aristotle and Aristophanes as a sarcastic person who paints ironical drawings for people and who got killed for that.

In France, a Charles Philipon established the "Caricature" newspaper in 1832, it was the first of its kind and it was soon followed by another named the "Scream" in 1833. In Britain, the caricature "Punch" magazine was established and followed by "Vanity" magazine in 1862 it published caricatures of famous and public figures at that time. "The Flying Snips" was the first ironic magazine to be published in Germany in 1844.

In the United States of America, a weakly magazine named "The Harbor Weakly" was established in 1875. As for modern Egypt, the beginnings of caricature emerged with the establishment of the faculty of beautiful arts in May 12th 1908; this faculty played an important role in forming artists that were attracted to newspapers later on, among whom was Soliman Fawzy who issued Al-kashkool magazine in 1921 which resumed the role played by Al-lataef magazine established by Alexander Mc Arious which showed special interest in caricature.

The establishment of Rose Al-youssef magazine in 1925 had a very positive role in developing the art of caricature in Egyptian newspapers; starting in 1928 the artist Saroukhan painted the cover page of Rose Al-youssef magazine, he invented the character of Al masery Effendi "Mr. Egyptian" which enabled him to find a connection between caricature and the reality and problems of the Egyptian society at that time. When he died in 1977, Saroukhan left about 20.000 caricatures during his work in Akhbar Alyoum newspaper.

The pioneering generation of caricature artists managed to truly express the problems of the Egyptian society, this might be clear when we read what artist Zohdy said about the fact that British Occupation assignation of Abdul hakim Algarhi and Abdul megid Musa in 1936 was the main reason behind his adoption of the Art of Caricature.

In 1962 it became very clear how much can caricature be effective, especially with the incident of some Azhar religious students darting the building of Alahram newspaper with stones to express their objection to the caricatures artist Salah Jahin used to prepare in page 9 of the newspaper and which contained heavy criticism of Alshiekh Al Ghzali, this dispute was solved through direct intervention of Mr. Kamal Aldien Hussein the Vice President at that time. 43 years later, the independent newspaper Almasry Alyoum published in its first paper for its volume issued in June 8th 2005 a story titled "A political department orders the change in the caricature of Alakhbar newspaper in yesterday's volume", this caricature was by the distinguished artist Mustafa Hussein and it was titled "Events in Egypt", it portrayed a pregnant woman followed by two persons trying to predict the identity of the unborn child; one of them said: "it is either a boy or a girl", but he other person disagreed saying: "why? It might be a false pregnancy". The comments of this caricature were changed in the second edition of the newspaper to be "no matter how painful, it is always joyful to have new babies". This incident shows how much caricature is important in the Egyptian culture in a way that makes some state departments pay attention to it that exceeds that is paid to writings of distinguished writers; this is due caricature's ability to pervade faster and deeper than words that might be read only by those who are already interested in public affairs.

The Overall Observations of the Report:
First:
the total number of caricatures published in the analyzed newspapers during the period from March 1st to December 31st 2005 was estimated at 2872 caricatures.

Second: Al Akhbar newspaper came in the first place as regards to the number of caricatures it published which reached 768 caricatures; Al Ahram came in the second place with 690 caricatures; while the opposing Al Wafd newspaper came third with 476 caricatures.

As for weakly magazines and newspapers; Rose Al Yousif magazine came first with 282 caricatures, followed by Alaraby newspaper with 273 caricatures, then Al Ahali newspaper 268 caricatures, then Al Osbou with 86 caricatures, while Sawt Al Omma came in the last place with only 30 caricatures.

Third: caricature artists in Egypt were all men, Egyptian women were completely absent from this art, unlike the case in many other countries where women could be very important in this regard such as Omya Goha in Palestine and Sahar Borhan in Syria.

Fourth: in terms of percentage of caricature in the first page, Al Akhbar came in the first place allocating 10% of the first page to caricature, while Al Wafd opposing newspaper came second with 6%.

Fifth: Al Akhbar newspaper came in the first place in terms of publishing funny caricature, as 12% of the caricatures it published could be defined as funny.

Sixth: the right of participation attracted 42.44% of caricature artists attention coming in the first place, followed by thee right to food, health care and housing with 21.59%, then the right to education 7.45%, then the right to work 6.41%, and finally the right to protect environment 0.10%.

Seventh: caricature artists were less interested in three of human rights that are: the right to land, the right of equality and the right to protect environment.

Eighth: some rights were completely absent from the caricatures published in the sample newspapers covered in this report, these rights were Children's rights to social and health care, and protection against abuse and violence, in addition to Individuals' right to take whatever administrative procedures required to protect them and their interests from abuse.

Ninth: as for foreign issues, caricatures published in Al Akhbar expressed interest in US policy in Iraq and Palestine, Sharon and the Palestinian cause, UN and issues of the Middle Eats region specially terrorism. Al Ahram newspaper was mainly interested in relations between the US president Bush and the Israeli Prime Minster Sharon, the connection between poverty and terrorism in different areas of the world in addition to US policy in Iraq.

Caricatures published in Al Wafd newspaper showed a greater deal of varying interests as they were related to issues such as the French referendum on the European Constitution, the Base organization, the assassination of the Egyptian ambassador in Iraq, foot and mouth disease in USA, the Iranian elections and criticizing Israeli policies.

The Palestinian cause and US policies in the Middle East were the main focus of caricatures of Rose Al Yosif magazine. While Al Ahaly newspaper showed special interest in Iraqi and Palestinian resistances, along a side with effects of Israeli policies on Egyptian economy, caricatures in this newspaper heavily criticized US Secretary of the State. Al Araby newspaper focused through its caricatures on Iraqi resistance and the Iraqi cause in general, in addition to US policies in the Middle East.

Tenth: there is a real difference between opposition and state funded newspapers as regards to the type of tackling the right to participation. Caricatures in opposition newspapers tend to heavily criticize the executive authorities, while state funded newspapers tackle this issue through not qualified characters such as drug addicts, and they often show a gear deal of disapproval and triviality.

Eleventh: sports related caricatures occupied 1.5% of the total percentage of the sample caricatures. Caricature artists did not use this type of caricature to criticize governmental intervention (namely the Ministry of Youth) in the internal affairs of boards of many sport's clubs which according to the law supposed to help youth forming youth characters but they failed to fulfill this because of internal conflicts and the absence of tolerance inside them.

Twelfth: Tackling the issues of the right to education through caricature, was only related to the problem of private lessons, costs of education, violence inside schools and General Secondary education. Caricatures were really far from dealing with the essence of the right to education as a basic means of economic production which is now becoming more dependent on building citizens capacities to strategic thinking for the future.

Thirteenth: when dealing with environment related issues caricatures focused only pollution, it is possible to say that caricature ignored the notion that next generations have the right to a clean not abused environment and resources.


Section Two: Content analysis of Caricatures

The selected sample: The selected sample contained:
    a) Daily newspapers: Alakhbar- Alahram- Alwafd b) Weakly newspapers: Alaraby- Alosbou'- Sawt Aloma- Alahaly c) Magazines: only Rose Alyoussef magazine.

The total number of press volumes included in this report is 1090 volumes. The sample contains different sorts of press introducing intuitions in Egypt including state funded, independent and partisan (Alwafd party- Nasserist Alraby party - Altajamu' party). It is worth mentioning that the used methodology excluded translated caricatures that were quoted from foreign newspapers.

Duration of the report:
The report covers a 10 month period starting from March 1st to December 31st 2005. It depended on a quantative and content analysis of the caricatures published in the selected sample of newspapers.

The aim of the report:
The goal of this report is to define how different directions of Egyptian newspapers and magazines deal with human rights related issues, and trying to enhance caricatures' future interest in these issues in a way that expresses the conditions of human rights and finding solutions for related problems in Egypt . Using caricatures for this purpose is expected to be effective because it will make a wider range of people interested in such issues.

Classifying caricatures in Al Akhbar newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005




The previous table shows that Al Akhbar newspaper published about 201 caricatures about the right to participation; this constitutes about 26.17% of the total numbers of caricatures published by the newspaper. 193 caricatures (25.13%) were related to the right to food, health care and housing. While 44 caricatures (7.42%) dealt with the right to education.

In spite of the fact that the right to participation came in the first place, but the nature of these caricatures was in accordance with the editorial policy of the newspaper which very sensitive towards any criticism of the executive or government officials in constraining this right. On the other hand, caricatures in Alakhbar newspaper blamed citizens and opponents for criticizing reform trials that started with amendment of article 76 of the constitution.

Classifying caricatures in Al Ahram newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



In the shade of this table, it becomes clear that Al Ahram newspaper published about 262 caricatures about the right to participation; this constitutes about 37.79% of the total number of caricatures published by the newspaper which is estimated at 690 caricatures the right to food, health care and housing came in the second place with 24.20% of the caricatures. The right to education came third with 11.59% of the caricatures. While the right to work came in the fourth place with 5.36% and the right to environment came at last with 2.89% of the caricatures published in Al Ahram newspaper.

Caricatures published in Al Ahram newspaper showed interest in the right to participation, but they did not contain any criticism for the governing regime or the executive for constraining this right.

More over, caricatures in Al Ahram newspaper played an important role in marketing the ideas of the ruling party and criticizing its opponents, this was very obvious with issues of amendment of article 76 of the constitution, presidential elections and parliamentary elections.

Classifying caricatures in Al Wafd newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



The right to participation was on top priorities of Caricatures published in Al Wafd newspaper with 60.50% of the total 476 Caricatures published by the newspaper. The right to food, health care and housing came in the second place with 19.11%, the right to work came third with 6.56% followed by the right to education with 2.52%, in the fifth place came the right to environment with 0.36%.

Caricatures published in Al Wafd newspaper were consistent with the policies of the party, which gives special interest in political reform in Egypt. In this regard, the newspaper had a critical editorial policy that balms the executive authority for the problems facing the right to participation through intervening to prohibit citizens from practicing this right. As for the right to food, health care and housing; caricatures in Al Wafd newspaper were in the form of screams, where citizens complain from the unjust governmental practices. Caricatures aiming only at laughter disappeared completely from the newspaper which did not show much interest in sports caricatures. It is possible to say that the social and political Caricatures published in Al Wafd newspaper were funny but at the same time they were very serious.

Classifying caricatures in Roza AL Yousif magazine
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



As the table shows, Rose Al youssif magazine published 282 Caricatures; 29.43% of which were related to the right to participation, while the right to food, health care and housing came second with 21.63%, the right to education came third with 6.73%, while the right to work came in the fourth place with 2.12%, the right to education came at last with 1.41%.

It is worth noting that the magazine was more interested in tackling Arab and international issues compared to local or national issues. The magazine published 95 Caricatures related to such issues (33.68%), while sports and amusing Caricatures were occupied about 3.9%.

Classifying caricatures in Al Ahaly newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



According to the table, Al Ahaly newspaper published 268 Caricatures; 65.29% of which were related to the right to participation, while the right to food, health care and housing came second with 26.86%, the right to work came third with 4.85%, and finally the right to education 4.10%. While 25.74% of the caricatures were related to external issues such as Iraqi resistance, US policies in the Middle East and Israeli policies towards Palestinian issue.

Classifying caricatures in Al Arabi newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



Al Arabi newspaper published 273 Caricatures; the right to participation was on their top priorities with 51.28%, followed by the right to food, health care and housing which came in the second place with 8.5%, the right to education came third with 7.33% followed by the right to work with 5.13%.

The Caricatures published in the newspaper adhered to the political discourse of the Nasseist Arab party which it represents, thus issues of political reform and peaceful devolution of power were central, while Arab, regional and international issues occupied 31.18% of the Caricatures of the newspaper.

Classifying caricatures in Al Osbou' newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



As the table reflects, Al Osbou newspaper published 86 Caricatures during the period covered by the report, r\the right to participation dominated the these Caricatures with 70.93%, followed by the right of food, health care and housing with 11.62%, both the right to work and to education came in the third place with 8.725% each.

Classifying caricatures in Sawt Al Omma newspaper
According to the subject kind during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005
Section Three Conclusion and Recommendations
According to the selected sample, it is possible to say that caricature is still far from expressing human rights' problems and issues. From this fact, we conclude that human rights activists and organization lacks the important role caricature can play in spreading and developing public awareness of human rights' problems and issues.

It is hard to face the fact that none of caricatures dealt with Children's right to protection against violence and abuse, despite many of the studies that focused on child labour in Egypt have always assured that there is a close relation between the ill educational process and the phenomenon of child labour .

Children are the future. That is way different societies try to ensure better conditions for their children to grow up . If children entered labour market without being physically and psychologically qualified, this will have negative effects on them and this will lead on the long run to negative effects on development plans.

On the other hand, children are the stock labour force especially in a country like Egypt which has a plentitude of labour force, thus taking care of this labour force is considered an investment for the future that is expected reducing future governmental expenditures in the fields of health and education.

It is worth noting that article 2 of the declaration of International Labour Organization (ILO) stats that all state parties have to comply the international conventions on protection of human rights principles, among which these stating for getting rid of child labour. Article 2 of the international convention on prohibiting child labour stated that it is not possible to hire children less than 15 years of age.

Egyptian caricatures did not contain any referrals to Individuals' right to take whatever administrative procedures required to protect them and their interests from abuse. This right is supposed to give citizens the ability to file complaints and to get fair and equal treatment in investigating these complaints.

Administrative development is considered the corner stone for all kinds of development and is considered the appropriate approach for comprehensive development.

Also, there is a close relation between economy and administration and participation in development through launching freedom of private sector, civil society and business sector to create a competitive atmosphere.

Individuals' right to take whatever administrative procedures required to protect them and their interests from abuse is not separate from a democratic administration of the society that aims at solving the citizens' problems to gain their trust and help them participate in the development process.

In the absence of such democratic rational administration, many social problems prevail such as bribery, nepotism and bias, in addition values of loyalty and belonging will demolish.

The right to land came at the end of the list of rights Egyptian caricature artists cared about. Despite the importance of this right which guarantees the participation of peasants (men and women), farmers and other similar classes and their organization effectively in designing and managing general economic programs and in designing rural development plans and distributing farming lands in a special manner, these classes should also be given the opportunity to participate the process of making decision of relevant policies, this process should be based on transparency, democracy and monitoring, this would support developing plans that aim at providing work opportunities raising productivity and enhancing self dependency.

The right of equality did not get enough attention from caricature artists, especially as regards to issues related to women's rights. In spite all of the achievements Egyptian women managed to gain, they still have many sufferings when compared to men, among these sufferings:
  • Higher rates of illiteracy in different Arab countries
  • Lower participation in work force
  • Higher unemployment rates
  • Lower wage rate
  • Discrimination against women in getting production service and facilities such as land, water, technology, guidance, training and marketing services.
  • Statistical discrimination against women which includes the calculation of their real contribution in the development process.
In this context, the forum is interested in providing the next recommendations:
    1. It is important to establish a syndicate for caricature artists.
    2. Newspapers should show more interest in publishing caricatures in their first pages.
    3. Caricature should be independent from the supervision and censorship of editors
    4. Human Rights NGOs should adopt the notion of making exhibitions for caricatures that deal with relevant issues.
Total number of caricatures in the sample of newspapers that are included in the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005 No. Month



Arab and international issues that caricatures dealt with
during the period covered in the report
March 1st to December 31st 2005



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