Saudi Arabia recently held its first Comic-Con, and it featured content with strong female protagonists.
At any other Comic-Con this wouldn’t be considered remarkable, but Saudi Arabia is one of the most gender-segregated countries in the world.
Fahad Al Saud is the creator of “Saudi Girls Revolution,” one of the comic-book series introduced at the festival. Set in a universe led by women, the comic features female heroines that symbolize resistance and strength.
Al Saud, who graduated from Stanford University and helped launch Facebook in Arabic, also happens to be one of several thousand Saudi princes.
The young prince credits comic books and movies for introducing him to diversities within American culture, and he wants his comics to do the same for Saudi Arabia’s women. “This isn’t the Arabia you think you know. The veil means something different here,” he told VICE News.
With the help of American screenwriter Stan Berkowitz and Sudanese-British editor Rozan Ahmed, Al Saud hopes to inspire Saudi Arabia’s marginalized female population.
The Ministry of Culture and Information recently granted permission for the first comic in the series, “Latifa: The Bedouin Blade,” to be sold in stores.
This video segment originally aired May 25, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.