Books by Sherine & Myra
Jabs, written by Sherine Hamdy and illustrated by Myra El-Mir, is a 170-page black & white graphic novel about a young Arab Muslim-American girl’s coming of age.
With poignancy and wit, Jabs explores the story of an Arab American girl, Anisa, whose world is upended by political violence and family tragedy. When teenage Anisa decides to wear the veil as part of her search for identity and belonging, it reveals the faultlines in her family and in the U.S., where everyone seems to have an opinion and a preconceived idea about Muslim women. Anisa starts drawing and posting an anonymous comic called “Hijabville” to explore her mix of emotions around the veil, and the ways one simple choice can be at once so provocative and so misunderstood. As her superhero characters (white feminist “Muse” and magical “Jinni”) skewer the everyday racism and sexism Anisa encounters, they help strengthen Anisa’s inner voice–a voice that’s funny and heartfelt and winning. Ultimately, Jabs is a story about spirituality, love, and growth as Anisa learns to stand tall and live her own truth–with or without the veil.
As the story of a young girl’s political awakening coupled with a fresh examination of the experience of being both American and “other,” a Muslim in today’s America, Jabs is sure to find an audience amongst the same readers who have made Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese perennial best-sellers and staples of school curricula.