Alexander Saroukhan (Courtesy of Saroukhan official Facebook page)
CAIRO – 30 August 2017: Egypt Today dives in depth into the iconic achievements of Armenian-Egyptian cartoonist and caricaturist Alexander Saroukhan.
Alexander Saroukhan was born in 1898 in the Great Russian Empire, and then he moved to Turkey to study languages and arts.
His family was killed during the Armenian genocide by the Turks during the First World War.
He worked as a translator for the British Army, and he published a number of his drawings in several Armenian newspapers.
In 1922, Saroukhan moved to Vienna, and he also studied art at Brussel's Graphic Art Academy.
He moved to Egypt in 1924. The art of cartoons and caricature was not familiar in the Middle East and faced heavy political criticism.
The artist exhibited his work in many galleries in Cairo and Alexandria and met Mohamed El-Tabii from “Akher Saa’a” Magazine.
Saroukhan also published his caricatures in a large number of Egyptian magazines and newspapers, such as Rose Al Yusuf, Akhbar El Yom, and Akher Saa’a.
His art reflected the political situation in Egypt and other parts of the world. “El Masry Afandy” was one of the heroes of Egyptian journalism during that time. This character was invented by Saroukhan and El-Tabii in 1929 to express the Egyptian character.
“Armenian Cinema” was a sarcastic magazine published in Egypt by Saroukhan in 1925.
He established an Egyptian-French magazine called “La Caravane” in 1945.
He drew a number of magazine covers for A’kher Saa’a and Akhbar El Yom, in addition to a number of Armenian Magazines.
He published two books, entitled “This is War” (1945) and “Political Year” in (1939), and a number of articles in Armenian newspapers.
During his life he drew more than 20,000 caricatures.
Lebanon, Syria, Romania, Canada and the U.S. are some of the countries that hosted Saroukhan’s drawing exhibits.
The Italian Magazine “Studio” listed Saroukhan as one of the best 100 artists in the twentieth century in 1957.
He called himself an Armenian with an Egyptian soul. He died in 1977 in Cairo.
In 2016, Al Massar Gallery organized an exhibit of Saroukhan’s caricatures under the title “Political Comedy”.