Baddawi Reception

As Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq receives more attention from the public eye, reviews and certain perceptions of the book have also been offered in favor of the graphic novel. When the graphic novel first published in 2015, plenty of critics saw the authenticity and unique stylistic choices Abdelrazaq utilized. Despite its recent publication, Baddawi has received recognition and praise for its ability to present the 1948 fleeing from Palestine in a digestible and comprehensive way. When teaching historical facts, using a fictional graphic novel can help students better understand the depths of the issue and even relate the novel to their own lives. The graphic novel has been compared to that of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, as both narratives tell coming of age stories through the use of graphics amongst the chaos of war. Despite this comparison, Baddawi is recognized for infusing Palestinian tradition and portraying a powerful second-hand account. Critics have noted this by saying Abdelrazaq’s work provides a voice for historical violence and highlights the catastrophes of Palestine. Readers tend to really enjoy the raw, emotional tragedy of the fleeing, but also enjoy the humor and powerful implications it creates.

LA Review of Books:


“Baddawi packs its punch precisely because of its genre. The graphic narrative enables Abdelrazaq to give voice to a history and violence that are often elided in dominant narratives”
– Alex Mangles, Los Angeles Review of Books

read the full review here

Palestine Book Awards:


“Adorned with Palestinian embroidery, a tapestry of history, Baddawi, is decorated with intricate designs as cartoons map historical events […] Using a child’s voice, the stories of past events are captured. The simplistic manner in which the book is written both blunts down catastrophes and compounds them at the same time”
– Noor Ahmed, Palestine Book Awards

read the full review here

Publishers Weekly:


“[Baddawi] is an important story, presenting a personal account of a seemingly endless conflict that is far too often contextualized in terms of ideology, rather than human life.”
– Publishers Weekly

read the full review here.

Just World Books:


“Leila Abdelrazaq blends beauty, politics, humor, rich Palestinian traditions, and the humanity of every day life during historic times into her delicate lines and powerful compositions.”
– Ethan Heitner, Cartoonist and illustrator, Freedom Funnies


“In Baddawi, Leila Abdelrazaq tells a coming of age story that is funny, angry and deeply human. The bold blacks of her drawing remind one of Marjane Satrapi, or the legendary French artist David B. But she transforms the style, infusing it with design elements from Palestinian embroidery. Baddawi is the story of her father’s childhood in a Lebanese refugee camp. It is also the story of hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians.”
– Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood


“Leila Abdelrazaq is a fresh and exciting artist and writer. Baddawi is heartfelt and poignant and is told from an often underrepresented perspective. It is a vital read for anyone curious about the plight of the Palestinian people.”
Toufic El Rassi, author, Arab in America


“The story of the Palestinian refugees, forced out in ’48 to wander the world ever since, is one we need to know. Leila Abdelrazaq tells this tale with love and humor and little rhetoric. Baddawi is simple and touching and well worth your time. A fine first graphic novel from a promising new cartoonist.”
Seth David Tobocman, co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated

read the full review here.



Baddawi’s Homepage

Emily Fishel, Kaitlyn Carreras, Hannah Summers, ’19

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