About the Award

­­The Mahmoud Kahil Award program aims to promote comics, editorial cartoons and illustrations in the Arab world through the recognition of the rich talent and creative achievement of comics artists, cartoonists and illustrators in the region.

The award program was established in 2014, under the Mu’taz & Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative at the American University of Beirut, to honor and perpetuate the legacy of the late Mahmoud Kahil, one of the leading cartoonists and caricaturists of the Arab World, and a former AUB graduate.

A call to submit work in the various categories listed below is launched annually, when nominations will be assessed and voted on by a select jury panel revealed during the launch, and the winners will be announced and honored at the awards ceremony in February/March 2019.


The Awards categories are

  • Editorial Cartoons
  • Graphic Novels
  • Comic Strips
  • Graphic Illustrations
  • Children’s Book Illustrations


Additionally, 2 honorary awards will be made:

  • The Lifetime Achievement Hall of fame, recognizing an outstanding dedication and service for a minimum of 25 years in the fields of graphic arts and cartoons
  • The Comics Guardian Award, recognizing those who have extensively supported comics and cartoons in the Arab world through preserving, collecting, promoting, publishing, teaching or exhibiting this Art, and thereby contributing to the cultural heritage of the region. Candidates for this award can be:- Festivals of comics and festival Founders
    – Publishers of comics
    – Devoted Collector of comics
    – Online portals or Collectives that preserve comic art or support the work of comics artists
    – Comics Awards programs
    – Educators that have initiated programs on comics teachings and workshops, or have taught comics
    – Arabic Comics Historiographers
    – Exhibitions/Galleries who have hosted comics artists and or sold originals


“Compared to the other initiatives in the region, The Mahmoud Kahil Award has the advantage of being the first sustainable Cartoons award offered as a partnership between the leading academic institution in the region, the American University of Beirut, supported by altruistic donors and the judges’ panel consisting of independent international critics. And that is only the beginning; we aim to start humble, yet with enough affluence to allow for growth and enhancement a few years down the road.”