Art as resistance

August 29 is the anniversary of the assassination of Naji Al-Ali in 1987.

Naji Al-Ali was a political cartoonist and writer born in 1936 in the Palestinian village of Ash Shajara. At the age of 10, he was a victim of the Nakba and grew up in a refugee camp in Lebanon. In the 1970s he created the character Handala.

According to Naji, “The child Handala is my signature, everyone asks me about him wherever I go. I gave birth to this child in the Gulf and I presented him to the people. His name is Handala and he has promised the people that he will remain true to himself. I drew him as a child who is not beautiful; his hair is like the hair of a hedgehog who uses his thorns as a weapon … His hands are clasped behind his back as a sign of rejection at a time when solutions are presented to us the American way … Handala was born ten years old, and he will always be ten years old. At that age, I left my homeland, and when he returns, Handala will still be ten, and then he will start growing up.” 

You can learn more about Naji Al-Ali and Handala on Handala.org.

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