Shawky’s drawings which provide the source material for the book »Cabaret Crusades – Drawings«, were inspired by Arabian calligraphers working in the Early Middle Ages, colorists, and especially the storytellers of that era. Shawky sometimes gives the willfulness of the imagination full rein, while in other drawings he is following a real model, a historical view of a city, or the depiction of an animal. The drawings possess something both meticulously precise and dreamlike. They swarm with waxen incident and narrative details, displaying worlds equally alien and familiar, somewhat diffuse and yet still very present. Their ominous tranquility transcends time, leaving a palpable impression of latent dreams in line and paint. Essays by Thomas D. Trummer and Omar Berrada address Wael Shawky’s works in detail, their historical foundations and current relevance, and in particular the role of draftsmanship within Shawky’s work as a whole.