Monday, March 24, 2008

AIC-Egypt Publishes Arabic Comic Book on Martin Luther King and the Power of Nonviolence

American Islamic Congress
Contact: Jina Hassan (
U.S.), +1.617-266-0080 or Dalia Ziada (Egypt), +

AIC-Egypt Publishes Arabic Comic Book on Martin Luther King and the Power of Nonviolence

CAIRO, Egypt, March 24 – The American Islamic Congress today announced that its office in Cairo, Egypt, has published an Arabic comic book on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of nonviolence.

Called “The Montgomery Story,” the comic book was published fifty years ago in the US and helped inspire the American civil-rights movement in the 1960s.

“Nonviolent activism is needed in the Middle East more than ever,” said Dalia Ziada, director of AIC-Egypt. Ziada was profiled last Thursday by BBC World Report as a champion of nonviolent reform speaking out against female genital mutilation.

“Martin Luther King’s legacy offers a powerful alternative to violence, and we hope this new Arabic comic book can inspire young Middle Easterners to take responsible action for reform," said Ziada.

The comic book was printed in Cairo and will be distributed to thousands of readers across the region as well as released online.

“A colorful comic book about a campaign that happened over fifty years ago in a far-off country is actually a great way to teach about nonviolence,” Ziada explained. “The struggle of Martin Luther King in Montgomery, when he was not even thirty years old, has lessons for young people today in the Middle East."

The comic book was translated and designed by young reformers in the region. It features full-color panels depicting the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a campaign to end segregation on buses in the capitol of the state of Alabama. The comic book ends with a section on “how the Montgomery Method works,” outlining essential techniques of nonviolence.

“The comic book is being published to give people hope,” Ziada observed. “There were many obstacles in the way of the Martin Luther King, but his message and his techniques helped make his society stronger, safer, and more free. We hope for the same.”

The American Islamic Congress is a civil-rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas. With the motto “passionate about moderation,” the organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, and Iraq.

To view the comic book online,