The Arab of the Future

photo credits: Selbymay - CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Arab of the Future

The Arab of the Future (French: L'Arabe du futur) is a graphic memoir by award-winning French-Syrian cartoonist Riad Sattouf. The work recounts Sattouf's childhood growing up in France, Libya and Syria in the 1970s and 80s. The first volume of L'Arabe du futur won the 2015 Fauve d’Or prize for best graphic novel at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.Sattouf’s father influenced the name of the book through his ideal of raising his son as an "Arab of the future." Early in the story, the elder Sattouf proclaims, "I'd change everything among the Arabs. I'd force them to stop being bigots, to educate themselves, and to enter into the modern world. I'd be a good President." Purposefully written from the perspective of a child, Sattouf employs simplistic yet comprehensive drawings that are more rudimentary than, yet not entirely dissimilar to, his other works such as La vie secrète des jeunes, his column in the famous satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Both The Arab of the Future and La Vie Secrète des Jeunes are written from Sattouf’s point of view, with the former describing his childhood and the latter his daily observations as an adult. Although both appear autobiographical, at least one reviewer calls into question elements of Sattouf's life story and family history.
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