Comic Illustrates MLK’s Role in Egyptian Revolution


Pundits and press have noted the peaceful atmosphere surrounding Egypt’s revolution and the subsequent resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. While the events of the past two weeks will be debated for years to come, the American Islamic Congress, a non-profit group founded after September 11th, are citing a recently translated comic book about Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent philosophy as a potential factor in Egypt’s civil disobedience.

Comics Alliance elaborates:

The AIC’s HAMSA initiative – designed to link civil rights groups throughout the Middle East — undertook in 2008 a project to translate The Montgomery Story into Arabic (and later Farsi). With the endorsement of [publisher] the Fellowship of Reconciliation, [AIC Egypt director Dalia] Ziada distributed 2,000 copies of the comic throughout the Middle East.

Ziada distributed even more copies during the revolution in Egypt, and told AIC members in a newsletter, “Last week I distributed copies in Tahrir Square. Seeing the scene in the square firsthand is amazing. Despite violent attacks and tanks in the street, young people from all walks of life are coming together, organizing food and medical care, and offering a living model of free civil society in action.”

The original, American book, called The Montgomery Story, about the bus boycotts, was published in 1955, 56 years ago. A true hero, whether comic or real, never goes out of style.


  1. says

    PAGING AMERICAN LGBTs! The Egyptian people who risked DEATH for a chance at freedom shame you! TWO YEARS into the reign of our Fierce Avocado: STILL no end to DADT! No hint of ending the ban on military Ts! No ENDA! No marriage equality! No UAFA! “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings!”

  2. Alhamdu says

    Uhh, these Egyptians were under this regime for almost thirty years. In all aspects, they are cowards for waiting until it happened in Tunisia first.

  3. JDB says


    Given the level of government-sponsored brutality that was unleashed on the Egyptian protesters, I don’t think cowardice is the proper term. They waited until the moment was right and the atmosphere was most supportive of positive change. That would be called wisdom, or at least prudence.

    Bravery does not require that a large number of people do something prematurely or without thinking towards the outcome. It only requires a “quality of spirit that enables one to face danger or pain without showing fear.” And if Princeton’s definition of bravery is not to be trusted, then up is down, right is wrong, and all is lost.

  4. Jeff C says

    The biggest mistake most nonviolent political movements make is the failure to utilize strategic planning. This most often leads to failure which reenforces the myth that nonviolent methods don’t work. The outcome of such folly is tragic for the entire world.

    MLK had a brilliant strategist standing behind him, Bayard Rustin.

    If we want to advance democracy, equality and freedom, we cannot be hotheads about it. The enemies of these things are not to be underestimated. They are very powerful and greedy and will stop at nothing to keep “the masses” under their boot.

    I am surprised the Egyptian people have gotten so far. They must have been planning and waiting patiently for a very long time. This comic was distributed in 2008.

    The Albert Einstein Institute in Boston is perhaps the world’s leader in how to utilize strategic planning to advance nonviolent political action.