Khalid Albaih, a cartoonist from Sudan, will come to Colby in the fall as the 2016 Oak Fellow at the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights.

Albaih uses his daring, often biting cartoons to champion freedom of expression and democracy in the Arab world, while criticizing Islamophobia, torture, and drone attacks.

Oak’s selection will showcase the powerful role of the arts in promoting human rights.

“We received applications from amazing artists around the world, but Khalid stood out because his work has inspired so many citizens inside and outside the Arab world to demand better behavior from their governments and from one another,” said Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Oak Institute Walter Hatch.

During the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, Albaih’s images were turned into stencils and reproduced on city walls in Cairo and Sana’a. He acquired thousands of followers on his Facebook site (“Khartoon!”—a play on his artistic medium and his former home in the capital of Sudan).

He is eager to spend his time in Maine connecting with local artists and discussing politics and culture with students, faculty, and staff.

“I want to interact with a new audience, learn about them, and help them better understand some of the different perspectives of my region, the Middle East, and North Africa,” he said.