Today we launch The Illustrated PEN, a weekly online series that aspires to be at the intersection of literature, journalism, and visual storytelling, where images and words come together in an ever-emerging and essential creative form. We’ll feature fiction and nonfiction graphic narratives, comics journalism and illustrated reportage, stories of social justice and personal stories that can’t be told through words alone. 

We kick off the series with a selection of stories from the graphic novel Baddawi, by Chicago-based Palestinian artist and organizer Leila Abdelrazaq. In this visually arresting debut, Abdelrazaq beautifully captures the everyday life stories of Ahmad, a young boy raised in Baddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon. Ahmad is one of the many thousands of refugee children born to Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war of 1948.




Baddawi will be published by Just World Books on April 7, 2015, and can be purchased from the publisher here.

These excerpts are serialized here by permission, and this material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.