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Drafting a New Story: Women's Rights in the Middle East

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Lebanese graphic designer Maya Zankoul brings her everyday experiences, stresses, and victories to life on her cartoon, Maya’s Amalgam. What started out as a website she shared with her close friends quickly grew to a wide audience not only in Lebanon, but around the world as well.  She has since published two books, Amalgam Vol. 1 and Amalgam Vol. 2, which launched on August 4, 2010.

See her work at

Maya shared some of her inspiration and artistic process on an Al Hurra interview in 2009.

On Lebanon and the blogger’s community: “If there are a lot of blogs, and everyone united in them, this opens up our world.  We’ll have more peace…and less problems in Lebanon.”

On Lebanese women: “The Lebanese woman, she doesn’t know who she is supposed to be…if she supposed to be pretty?  Is she supposed to be equal?  The Lebanese woman has a lot of questions in her head and doesn’t know how she’s going to answer them.”

On her blog: “This is the essence I’ve gotten of the Lebanese…okay there are problems and everything, but like I do in the blog, we try and laugh at everything.  We’ll rise above these problems and laugh at them.”

On her inspiration: “everyday before I go to sleep, I’ll remember things that happened during the day, and things will have happened that bothered me and I’ll want to let it out.  I find that the best way to let it out is to share what happened to be in these pictures, and to see how other people react to them.”

“I’ll spend about an hour drawing and it calms me, I find myself laughing.”

On her position as a graphic designer: “Graphic designers, like poets and writers, have a message to send.  And the way that we sent it can reach more people…graphic designers need to use this talent to give people a voice.”

On her position as a blogger: “I want to tell young people to find another way to release their emotions…not to go out into the street and yell, or post pictures on cars.”

Watch Maya’s full interview with Al Hurra:

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