Today, Saturday, the 29th of August coincided with the 33rd commemoration of the martyrdom of Naji Al-Ali, the feather of Palestine fiercely defending the right of the Palestinian everywhere, which has drawn up displacement, exile, revolution, resistance work, enemies and opportunists, and so on. I knew one day a way to Palestine except the path of struggle and confrontation.
Naji Saleem Hussein Al-Ali was born in 1938 in the village of Al-Shajara, located between Nazareth and Tiberias in the northern Galilee of Palestine, and due to the Zionist gangs terrorism, he was forced to flee with his family in 1948 to Ain al-Hilweh camp, south of Sidon, Lebanon.
Handzala was a character created by Naji Al-Ali representing a ten-year-old boy. The drawing of Handala appeared in Kuwait in 1969 in the Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Siyasa. He turned his back in the years after 1973 and held his hands behind his back.
This drawing and its owner were loved by all Arab audiences, especially the Palestinians, because Handala is a symbol of the tortured and strong Palestinian, despite all the difficulties that direct him, as he turns his back on the “enemy.”
Nagy says in an interview with the late writer Radwa Ashour, in 1984, in Budapest: “The character of this small, barefoot child is a symbol of my childhood. I left Palestine at this age and am still in it. Although this happened 35 years ago, the details of this stage are not I lose my memory and feel that I remember and know every herb, every stone, every house and every tree that I passed by in Palestine as a child. “
He added, “I introduced him to the readers and called him Handala, as a symbol of bitterness. At first I presented him as a Palestinian child, but with the development of his awareness he had a national horizon, then a cosmic and human horizon .. In the early stages, I drew him face to face with people, and he was carrying a Kalashnikov, and he was also constantly moving.” He is an actor and has a real role, discussing in Arabic and English, but more than that, as he used to play karate .. sing zajal, shout, call to prayer, whisper, and preach the revolution.
Will he grow up a handlah? Nagy says: “He will remain at ten until the homeland returns. Only then will he grow up and start to grow .. The well-known laws of nature do not apply to him. It is an exception, because losing the homeland is an exception, and things will become normal when the homeland returns.”
And when can Handala be seen? Nagy replies: “When dignity becomes not threatened, and when the Arab person regains his sense of freedom and humanity.”
His career in journalism
In 1963 Naji Al-Ali traveled to work for the Kuwaiti magazine Al-Tale’ah in Kuwait, and began publishing his cartoons on its pages, and Naji continued to work for the magazine until 1968, the year after the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine led by George Habash on (11/12/1967) Then he left Kuwait and returned to Lebanon and married Wadad Nasr, then he returned to Kuwait again.
The distinctive thing that happened with Naji Al-Ali during his return from Kuwait to Lebanon is that he got acquainted with many elements of the military wing of the Fatah movement (the Tempest Forces), and was aware of the total operations it carried out against the Israeli occupation, which inflamed his patriotic feelings and his drawings at that stage were distinguished by calling for the armed struggle As the only way to regain the land, and what increased the ferment of national sentiments has a victory in the battle of dignity.
After Naji returned to Kuwait, he lived in the Farwaniya neighborhood, and at that stage his political perceptions matured to the point where he became a solid spokesperson in defense of the Palestinian cause, and he was a major supporter of President Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Palestinian revolution. Naji’s relations with the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti and the journalist Hanna were also documented. Moqbel and novelist Rashad Abu Shawer, and his drawings turned into an explicit support for President Gamal Abdel Nasser, invoking the Arab nation to remove the effects of the defeat of the Arab armies in the Six Day War in 1967.
After he stopped the publication of Al-Tali’a magazine, Naji Al-Ali worked in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa until 1974, and returned to Lebanon to work for Al-Safir newspaper, then returned again to work in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa until 1978, then returned to Lebanon to work again in the newspaper As-Safir until 1983, after which he worked in Al-Qabas Kuwait and Al-Qabas International.
He produced more than 40,000 works of art, other than those prevented by censorship and remained locked up in shelves. He published three books in 1967, 1983 and 1985, and his works were exhibited in Beirut, Damascus, Amman, Palestine, Kuwait, Washington and London. Handala is the most famous of his cartoon characters.
The assassination of Al-Ali
At 5:13 GMT, on Wednesday 22 July 1987, Al-Ali parked his car on the sidewalk on the right side of Ives Street, southwest of London, where Al Qabas International newspaper is based.
Naji did not know that a murderer was stalking him, despite the threats that exceed one hundred, according to him, which were warning him of punishment for his drawings, and that he had received adequate information that his life was in danger given that the Israeli Mossad had made him a target, but the Most High did not take any measures for himself to protect, because of his fate According to the saying: “Caution does not prevent fate,” so it was easy to capture.
As soon as Naji Al-Ali approached the “Peter Jones” store, close to the targeting point, the killer, who wore a jeans jacket, who was described by witnesses as having black shaggy and thick hair, approached him. When he walked in parallel, he took out his pistol and shot at the head of Naji Al-Ali. To flee.
Nagy was transferred to St. Stephen’s Hospital while he was on a ventilator, then he was transferred to the Cross Charing Hospital and admitted to the Department of Neurosurgery, then he was returned to St. Stephen’s Hospital.
Al-Ali continued to struggle with death until Saturday 29-8-1987, his soul was transferred to its creator at exactly two o’clock in the morning, and he was buried in the Islamic “Brooke Wood” cemetery in London, and his grave was named (230191).
(Source / 30.08.2020)