Yasmeen #4 by Saif A. Ahmed

Yasmeen #4Yasmeen #4 by Saif A. Ahmed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, this is powerful stuff.

We see less of Yasmeen’s time in captivity in Iraq, with just a very short scene of her attempted escape, and instead focus in her forging friendships in the USA. One such friendship sees her attending a party with a friend, who ends up unconscious and taken advantage of. Some boys take photos of her on their phones and one of the photos begins to spread…but Yasmeen and her mother decide to put a stop to it. They trace the photo and ensure that every copy is deleted.

Once again, this issue made me cry.

Brilliant writing and perfect art.

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Yasmeen #2 by Saif A. Ahmed

Yasmeen #2Yasmeen #2 by Saif A. Ahmed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series continues to be excellent and powerful.

If I had any criticism it would be that, at times, it can be a little hard to follow, as the narrative skips backwards and forwards in time. But, honestly, I’d prefer to take that to indicate that Yasmeen is still living with her trauma, she’s still stuck in that past moment, than an indication of any lack of ability by the writer. Or, in other words, I feel like it’s intentional, that we’re meant to feel disoriented.

The art is superb. Both emotive and powerful.

This is, quite simply, a very important series and you should be reading it.

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Yasmeen #1 by Saif A. Ahmed

Yasmeen #1Yasmeen #1 by Saif A. Ahmed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure: This comic was pitched to Markosia, of which I’m EIC. I wanted to sign it but clearly so did Scout Comics and they signed with them. I’m disappointed because I really wanted to sign this book…as evidenced by the fact that I didn’t realise this was the same book when I bought it (we get a LOT of pitches), I just bought it because it looked and sounded great. But as soon as I opened it up I thought, “Hey, this looks familiar…”

Anyway, obviously this is exceptional. It deals with a tough subject, that of a young woman in a fairly affluent family in Mosul, Iraq, who are forced to flee when ISIS arrive. Stories like this, which humanise refugees, are incredibly important at a time when the media and politicians are making these people out to be vermin. They’re not. They’re people. People like you and me, who go shopping and play video games. People who were living happy, peaceful lives before war arrived and forced them out of their homes.

And that’s what makes this so good. This isn’t a comic about refugees. It isn’t a comic about Muslims. It isn’t a comic about Iraqis. It’s a comic about people. People who happen to be refugees. Who happen to be Muslims. Who happen to be Iraqis. But, first and foremost, they’re people.

And that’s why I wanted to sign it to Markosia. and why I will be forever disappointed that we didn’t.

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