(7 Apr 2017) LEADIN
The cartoon carnival has come to town in Dubai.
The city is hosting the Middle East Film and Comic Con exhibition with fans dressing up as their favourite anime characters.
STORYLINE
A fan poses at Dubai’s annual Comic Con, a celebration of all things comic, cartoon, fantasy, and game-oriented.
The three-day event is growing in popularity in the region, according to both organisers and attendees.
Dubai has hosted Comic Con for 6 years running. This year’s event is expected to attract thousands.
Fans say the convention provides a special place for people with like-minded interests to gather.
“This is my third time here at Comic Con and I love it here, the vibe is so good, so many amazing cosplayers, amazing activities and merchandise. And I’m an anime fan, so this is a good place for me,” says Nour, who is dressed as Dokken Tai from Touken Ranbu.
She says her costume was of her own design, and the most difficult part was the make-up.
The event also features a zipline for the adventurous, but many say they simply came for the sense of community.
“The one beautiful thing about the Comic Con world, the world of science fiction, fantasy, comic books and pop culture is that it unites everyone, it’s a common language, it’s a common love of story, it’s a common love of fantasies, and it doesn’t matter what culture you come from, whether Asian or Chinese, or Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern, of any of the countries, North American. Everyone loves these things, and talks the same language, so it unifies,” says Cas Anvar, a Sci-fi actor who is at the conference promoting some of his most recent roles.
Anvar is representing two characters he plays – one from the video game Assassin’s Creed, who is a Syrian-Turkish, and another from the TV show The Expanse, where he plays a character of East-Indian Pakistani origin.
Anvar, who is Canadian but of Iranian descent, says he is particularly happy to be in Dubai and serve as a role model for kids who might be of similar backgrounds.
Eighteen year old Nikki Alexandrei is a Cosplay and Comic Con fan exhibiting fan-art at the event. She is dressed as anime character Yuri Katsuki from the show Yuri on Ice.
She’s happy to be at Comic Con because she feels at home here.
“Most of the times I don’t feel like going out, because there’s nothing to do. You’re one of these odd minorities of the people and you can barely find and make actually good friends. But Comic Con is the one time of year when everyone just gathers all together and finally you’re just free,” she says.
Middle East Comic Con runs from 6 April to 8 April 2017.

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