Cairo at Night Through the Eyes of Ahmed Saad

Ahmed Saad Ims3d

Ahmed Saad (also known as S3d) is a comics artist and a creative writer based in Cairo. Ahmed Saad’s illustrations of late-night Cairo have resonated with hundreds of people who felt the nostalgia he captures through his work. Whether through his choice of music, the details of the Egyptian streets, or the warm image of someone holding a cup of tea while listening to Oum Kalthoum in Cairo, Ahmed Saad will take you somewhere else with his illustrations and their accurate and intricate detail. 

We sat down with Ahmed Saad to know more about his work! 


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When did you realize you wanted to be a Comics artist? 

I don’t recall that my dream was to be a comics artist, I thought drawing or comics were just hobbies at first. Like any other kid, I was raised on cartoons. My mother bought me a comic book called “Flash” when I was a kid, and that was my introduction to the comics world. 


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By the time I was a teenager, I knew a lot about comics, but not in a professional way. When I finished high school, I knew I wanted to study fine arts. I didn’t pass the acceptance test so I switched to my second favorite field which is computer science. It was good until senior year when I had enough with programming. So, I found myself watching cartoons again with my little sister. Then I started drawing and sketching. I got my graphic design diploma and started my graphic design career in a small print house in my home town Ismailia.


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Later on, I joined Core Publications, home of E7na magazine, Campus, and G-mag. Then, I switched to advertising and worked for a couple of multinational agencies where I spent my free time doing comics and posting them on my personal Facebook account. I was surprised with the feedback back then and it encouraged me to actually do comics…and the rest is history.

Between all the hustle, was creating your art an escape? 

Here is the funny part of the story: Comics made me develop and expand my creative skills. I used to write down the script for my comics in my free time then draw it later. My boss noticed and asked me to come up with a script for a radio ad. Surprisingly, the client liked it and from this point, I became an art director and a copywriter. It’s all connected.  

Ahmed Saad Cairo at night

Tell us about your series of videos capturing Cairo at night, how did it all start?

This project came out of nowhere. It was not planned to be a series of videos. I was going through a rough patch in my life back then. I found myself picking up my pen to draw scenes I’ve lived that gave me some kind of peace. The empty streets of Cairo at night where the volume goes down, was truly a relief from stress. When I started my comics before, I was surprised by the feedback I got. I got tons of messages from people thanking me for the videos because they gave them temporary relief from their Anxiety. That encouraged me to do more.


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What’s your process for the illustrations to be so accurate and representative of Cairo? 

That’s something I’ve learned from working in advertising; insight is the key to the success of any project. It is to find the most common thing between people and re-present it to them in any medium.

If you capture the right insight then you will make them relate to it. That’s what I’ve done in my comics and mini-animation.

What’s your favorite thing about being a comics artist? 

Getting to be sarcastic. It is some sort of coping mechanism. Also, being a comics artist makes your mind ready to come up with an idea instantly, and to me, that’s the best thing.

What were some of the challenges you faced as a Comics artist?

The big and main obstacle I face is having a creative block. Finding an original idea is hard. Sometimes, I come up with an idea and I find it somewhere else. That’s where I struggle to come up with a similar but unique idea. Later on, I found out that most of the ideas we see everywhere are the same but with different execution or different scenarios. I came to realize that there is no 100% unique or original idea.

Ahmed Saad Illustrator

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start their career in comics art?

You don’t have to study art academically to be an artist.

Do what you love and pursue it. Read, watch a lot and practice a lot more. It is okay to copy other artists’ styles until you reach your own.

What do you hope for yourself and your work in the future? 

I hope I could enhance my animation skills to do more advanced shorts or maybe a long animation series or movie. I also hope I could work on a graphic novel in the future. 


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Ahmed Saad’s illustrations are a look into a calm and beautiful Cairo, one we have lived and still experience every day when we look closer.

Make sure to check out more of Saad’s work here!

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