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French Comic Book Hero Asterix Now A Vehicle For Peace In The Middle East

At a Paris book fair this weekend, two versions of the beloved Asterix comic hero in 1001 Arabian Nights (one in Hebrew, one in Arabic) were released. As the translators explain below, both camps had to make certain concessions in the name of art, specifically by heeding close attention to wild beasts (so as not to offend Islamic fundamentalists) and unkosher boars.

Both translators said they had had to adapt the text to reality, but had decided to keep the wild boars that people the albums despite religious objections to pork.

"We left the boars in though they're not kosher," said the Israeli translator.

Syrian Shehayeb said an earlier Asterix album translated into Arabic had used "wild beasts" rather than "boars" to avoid offending fundamentalists. "I kept the original because you have to face reality as it is," he said.

Ironic as it sounds, Asterix might have found a ripe audience for its socio-political values lesson after all.

In the books, the diminutive Gallic warrior's friends "live in peace and friendship with all other people as long as nobody bothers them", said Israeli Dorith Daliot Rubinovitz.

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