FDHRD issues the report 'The Caricature Art: the Comic Tragedy'
Human rights issues in press caricatures
(1 March - 31 December 2005)
6 /1 / 2006
Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues its third quantitative report entitled 'The Caricature Art: the Comic Tragedy', the report determines an analysis to caricatures in Egyptian newspapers (Al-Akhbar, Al-Ahram, Al-Wafd, Al-Araby, Al-Osboaa, Soot Al-Omma, Al-Ahaly and Rose Al-Yousif Magizine) in the period (1 March to 31 December 2005). On the other hand, the purpose of FDHRD's program 'Developmental Media' which issued the report is to check out all press articles work on human rights issues and problems in Egypt in order to increase articles concerned with human rights and development issues in Egypt.
The report's observatory results on press caricature:
1) During the period (1 March to 31 December), newspapers in Egypt published 2872 caricatures.
2) Caricature in Egyptian press publications occupied seat as follows: (Al-Akhbar -768 caricatures, Al-Ahram -690 and opposition newspaper Al-Wafd - 476). In relation to weekly newspapers; Rose Al-Yousif Magazine -282, Al-Araby newspaper - 273, Al-Ahaly - 268, Al-Osboaa - 86 and finally Sawt Al-Omma - only 30 caricatures.
3) Opposition newspaper Al-Wafd sketched a caricature in the façade page occupied an area 6% (2 rows x 12 cm), while also Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper took 10% from its façade page in a caricature sketch.
4) The comic caricature won the first seat 12% in Al-Akhbar newspaper.
5) Limiting work in caricatures to men, in which there is no room for Egyptian women in this domain, while on the other hand, women caricature artists in some Arab countries occupy a unique population in this field such as Omaia Goha (Palestine) and Sahar Borhan (Syria).
6) Caricature artists of the mentioned newspapers ignored three important human rights issues: right to land, right to equality and right to environmental protection.
7) In these monitored newspapers, caricature artists also ignored human rights issues such as right to child protection counter violence and exploitation, citizens' right to follow suitable administrative procedures to protect themselves from both exploitation and abuse. On the other hand, artists concentrated on some issues such as: right to participation, right to nutrition, health care and housing, right to education and finally right to work.
8) In concern to foreign issues caricature, Al-Akhbar newspaper's main concern is centred on US policy in Iraq and Palestine, Sharon and Palestinian question, UN policy, Middle East question and terrorism effect all over. While Al-Ahram newspaper is concerned with Bush -Sharon talks, terrorism and poverty question and US policy in Iraq, Al-Wafd newspaper monitored more issues such as: the referendum on the French constitution, Al-Qaeda Organization, the Egyptian Diplomat assassination in Iraq, cows madness in United States, elections in Iran and critical analysis to Israel policy.
Rose Al-Yousif Magazine: the Palestinian question, US policy in the Middle East, Al-Ahaly newspaper: Iraqi resistance question, Palestinian public resistance (Intifada), Israel policy and its obvious relation with Egyptian economy and violent criticism on US Foreign Affairs Minister. Finally Al-Araby newspaper: the most prominent issues are; Iraqi resistance question and Iraqi conditions, and US policy in the Middle East.
9) An important issue was selected for monitoring; violations in the right to co-operation between national and independent newspapers, in which caricatures in opposition newspapers are most probably hold violent criticism on the Executive, while in response national newspapers dealt with this situation via representing sarcastic caricatures of mean drug addicts - in a degrading manner- in order to bolt citizens' right to participate in both independent and national newspapers.
10) In the mentioned press publications, caricature concentrate only on certain issues such as private lessons, school expenses, problems of secondary stage (Thanawia Amma) and violence in schools. While it has ignored the issue of the right to education which became an important tool to build up citizens whom can carry the torch of development and capable to independent thinking.
11) The report also sheds light on the environmental caricature which biased only on issues of pollution, while it has ignored new generations' right to inherit the richness of their latter's land and keep it from deterioration, also ignoring people's right to protect their environment and to capture its natural resources while putting on mind the new generations whom will benefit from the land and be useful in future.
12) Concerning sports caricature, it didn't exceed more than 1.5%, the report determines artists' ignorance to the administrative institutions' (Youth Ministry) power on works and activities of societies' boards which affect negatively on youth's character building in social, health, constructional, physiological and mental standards, in addition to the development of clashes and detachment in contrast with the principles of tolerance and accepting the other.