Friday, 28 March 2014

Malik Nejer: Saudi Arabia's most popular animator?

 One of Malik Nejer's web cartoons, مسامير - كلمة أخيرة (Nails - A Final Word, according to Google Translate)

According to this New York Times article, the fourth most-subscribed YouTube channel in Saudi Arabia (at the time the article was written, in 2011) belongs to an animator: Malik Nejer. He is noted for his satirical cartoons:
A natural disaster two years ago gave Mr. Nejer his break in the animation business. The 2009 flood that swept Jidda, killing more than 100 people, prompted him to make a short, satirical animated clip, “The Real Reason Behind the Jidda Disaster.” The sketch, featuring a government official who falls in love with, and marries, his chair, went viral.
The article goes on to discuss the specific cultural backdrop to Nejer's work:
Mr. Nejer’s success is helped by Saudi Arabia’s brand of Islam, which bans cinemas, segregates the sexes and imposes censorship on the news media.
“YouTube is becoming more successful in Saudi Arabia, and people are creating more genuine content because we have nothing else to do,” he said. “This kind of helped create traffic.”
You can see his YouTube channel here. Nejer is also active on Vimeo.

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