Archie in the Middle East

Boy, this press release just raises tons of questions.

Teshkeel Media Group, KSC, and Archie Comic Publications, Inc., today announced a new publishing partnership to bring Arabic-language Archie comics, digests and magazines to the Middle East region. … According to the terms of its multi-year partnership with Archie Comics, Teshkeel’s product offering will feature such popular characters as Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Little Archie. These publications will be distributed throughout the region, from the Arabian Gulf to North Africa. … “Archie characters were some of my favorites growing up,” said Naif Al Mutawa. “They provide positive, wholesome role models which are well suited for children in any region.”

I’m probably revealing my ugly American lack of knowledge here, but I wonder if they’re just doing translated editions or if they’re changing the characters’ costumes and behavior. There are an awful lot of girls-in-bikini stories or stories where the women do things like chasing boys that wouldn’t seem to fit in with how the Middle East is portrayed in American media. For instance, would any story with Betty working on and then driving her car be a problem?

3 Responses to “Archie in the Middle East”

  1. Ganga Says:

    I actually grew up in the Middle East in a little place called the UAE. When I was a kid, I remember that the imported English-language Archie comics (without any modifications) used to sell like hotcakes at the local bookstores. But I’m sure some of my Arabic-speaking friends who thoroughly enjoyed the comics would have been more comfortable reading them in their own language. So this is probably a great opportunity for Archie Comics to reach more readers in that region. And, considering that every single woman I knew – including my Mom, my friends, my teachers etc – drove their own car (except myself since I’m a terrible driver), I’m sure Betty wouldn’t have felt out of place there :)

  2. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience — I was hoping those with more knowledge about the area than I would contribute!

  3. Lola Says:

    i was born and i grew up in UAE and all of us used to collect the imported English language Archies….and let me assure you that not all women in the middle east wear a scarf on their heads as its portrayed in american media




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