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Comic Artist Deena Mohamed Releases English Version of Shubeik Lubeik

The Egyptian comic artist’s award-winning graphic novels are being published in the US and the UK.

Farah Desouky

Comic Artist Deena Mohamed Releases English Version of Shubeik Lubeik

Award-winning graphic novel trilogy ‘Shubeik Lubeik’, written and drawn by Egyptian comic artist Deena Mohamed, is making its overseas debut with an English translation release. The graphic novels will be released in the US as ‘Shubeik Lubeik’, and in the UK as ‘Your Wish is My Command’.

First published in 2017, ‘Shubeik Lubek’ won first prize at the Cairo Comix Festival, and has since garnered an audience enamoured by Mohamed’s authentic representation of Cairo, and the way she explores themes of depression, loss and desire through urban fantasy.

“The translation process was really frustrating. I added more pages to clarify certain aspects that were obvious to Egyptian readers, like Abdo and Aziza’s relationship, which is expanded in the English version,” Deena Mohamed tells CairoScene.

Mohamed had translated her books herself, and used it as an opportunity to add a new layer to the story, treating the translation as a new character to contextualise the Cairene stories. “I adapted the role of the narrator in the Arabic version to become a translator as well in the English version, explaining both the world of

Shubeik Lubeik and some phrases and cultural aspects which made the translation feel more informal and friendly,” she adds.

Split into three books, the graphic novels each follow a different protagonist - Aziza, Nour and Shoukry - after they’ve purchased a magical wish. While the stories begin from a fantastical premise, the events they go through afterwards are all grounded in contemporary struggles.