The Return of ‘The Arab of the Future’

The second comic in Riad Sattouf’s award-winning L’Arabe du Futur series, titled L’Arabe du Futur 2,”was released in France on June 11, and is already garnering wide attention:

From Sattouf's Twitter profile.
From Sattouf’s Twitter profile.

According to La Libre:

Son nouvel opus, dont l’histoire se déroule entre 1984 et 1985, est empli de ce qui fait la touche Sattouf : la causticité et un sens aigu de l’observation. Acerbe à l’égard du régime, des coutumes, ce Parisien de 37 ans se montre également mordant lorsqu’il représente ses proches.

According to France24, “French readers can’t seem to get enough of it – or anything, for that matter, that emerges from Sattouf’s drawing board.”

L’Arabe du Futur, which came out in 2014, was a best-seller in France and won this year’s top Fauve d’Or award at the Angoulême Festival. It will be out from Metropolitan Books in October as The Arab of the Future. 

The second book in the series, France24 reports, is 150 pages and “picks up where the first edition left the five-year-old: sobbing as his family boards a Syrian Air flight to his father’s homeland.”

Part 1 was dominated by late 1970s and early 1980s Libya, while Part 2 takes place in mid-1980s Syria.

Riva Hocherman, executive editor of Metropolitan Books, told France24:

Sattouf gives a rich, inside perspective of a world that we never get to see. And it’s one that registers with all the more authenticity because it comes from the non-judgmental view of a child. Add to that the sly humor, the vivid picture of Riad’s complicated father and family, the all-oppressive presence of cruel dictatorships, and you have one of the great stories of childhood.


La Libre with Riad Sattouf: ‘I have a tremendous affection for Tintin, its paradoxes and excesses’ (French)

France24: Comic books of childhood under Arab dictators grip France


  1. I must say I was impressed by Sattouf’s abilities, and I liked the part on Libya a lot. But when it comes to Syria, the author portrays not only the regime but all Syrians as fanatical and violent morons who hate and want to kill Jews. I didn’t understand why they are depicted like that, neither do I understand why nobody except me seems to be startled by that.

    1. I haven’t seen either Vol 1 or Vol 2. Are you planning to review them? Yes, I haven’t read anything outside of praise…

      I did note that France24 went out of their way to say, “There is nothing to offend those thin-skinned Americans in this…”

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