Suleiman Bakhit is 36 years old and he is a Jordanian comic book author who creates Middle Eastern stories to counter the narrative of terrorism. He surveys children in impoverished areas around Amman and in the Syrian refugee camps in order to gather research. The point is to study what fuels terrorism and how connecting on an emotional level is what really makes the difference. ISIS, Al Qaeda and other organizations preach terrorism as a heroic journey explains Bakhit. Terrorism is heroic because it is an alternative to the horrid conditions that incubate so much anger. The greatest hero in the Islamic culture is the journey of the Prophet. He left his village to meditate in a cave in the middle of a desert. When the archangel came down to give him the message of the religion, he was transformed in order to unite the Arab tribes. Osama Bin Laden decided to emulate this journey Bakhit explains. He left his aristocracy in Saudi Arabia and went into Afghan caves only to emerge a new person with a vision to cleanse “the shame of the Muslim nation through violence.”
Backlit thinks that the comic books and video games can provide a good antidote to this poison. The meat of the situation is good storytelling. He started his company Aranim Media Factory in 2006 in order to produce this antidote. Learn more about how he has been community building, asking children who their heroes are and how he believes this is fundamentally a war of mythologies at the New York Times.