Sarukhan’s al-Masri Effendi cartoons in the first half of the 1930s

This chapter examines the creation and development of al-Masri Effendi – a caricatured type, who first appeared in 1930 in the pages of the Egyptian satirical journal Ruz al-Yusuf. Use of this ‘everyman’ character mushroomed in the interwar period in Egypt, as al-Masri Effendi not only tapped into the themes of the journals in which he appeared, and was built on the preoccupations of his cartoonist creators, but also came to represent the stereotypical Egyptian and embodiment of the nation (in the context of a modernity developing alongside a continued struggle with British colonial rule). Yet his utility also saw al-Masri Effendi become a site of contestation, over the supposed Egyptian character and the nature of Egyptianness (relating to issues of class, race, and gender).

in Comic empires