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End Israel's Occupation: 40 years too many

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These T-shirts have been specially designed by Dora McPhee and the Women for Palestine executive committee to protest 40 years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

’67 symbolises the beginning of the Occupation.

The razor wire symbolises the closure of Palestinian society and the prison in which the Palestinians are being forced to endure the most inhuman deprivations and violations of their rights with no hope of liberation in sight.

The Palestinian kaffir blowing in the wind symbolises the Palestinian people.

The boy Handala is the symbol of Palestinian defiance.  (Click on picture for more information.)

The T-shirts are all in black and are available in X-large, large, medium and small at a cost of $9.
Please contact Moammar on (03) 9818 5080 or by email info@67.com.au

>> View larger T-shirts here <<

About Handala

Handala, the Palestinian defiance symbol


Handala (or Hanzala) is the most famous of the Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali's cartoon characters. He is depicted as a ten-year old boy, and appeared for the first time in Al-Siyasa in Kuwait in 1969. The figure turned his back to the viewer from the year 1973, and clasped his hands behind his back. The artist explained that the ten-year old represented his age when forced to leave Palestine and would not grow up until he could return to his homeland; his turned back and clasped hands symbolised the character's rejection of "outside solutions". Handala wears ragged clothes and is barefoot, symbolising his allegiance to the poor. In later cartoons, he sometimes appears throwing stones or writing graffiti.

Handala became the signature of Naji al-Ali's cartoons and remains an iconic symbol of Palestinian identity and defiance; the artist remarked that "this being that I have invented will certainly not cease to exist after me, and perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that I will live on with him after my death".

"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. Handala is not a fat, happy, relaxed, or pampered child, he is barefooted like the refugee camp children, and he is an 'icon' that protects me from making mistakes. Even though he is rough, he smells of Amber. 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. The laws of nature do not apply to him. He is unique. Things will become normal again when the homeland returns. I presented him to the poor and named him Handala as a symbol of bitterness. At first he was a Palestinian child, but his consciousness developed to have a national and then a global and human horizon. He is a simple yet tough child, and this is why people adopted him and felt that he represents their consciousness."

"What is the role of political caricature?" "Its role is to bare life... caricature always hangs life to dry in the open air and in the public streets... it grabs life wherever it finds it to place it on the rooftops of the world where there is no place to fill the gaps or cover its holes." "When will people see Handala's face?" "When Arab dignity is no longer threatened, and when the Arab individual regains his freedom and humanity. Still, the most tiring part is to continue the road with all its contradictions. The weariness of the homeland will always remain deep inside." "Handala is the witness of the century who will never die... the witness who entered life all of a sudden and will never leave it. He is the legend-witness. This character was born to survive... I will continue within him even after I die."

Naji Al-Ali was born in Ash-Shajara village in 1936, one of 480 villages destroyed after 1948. His family was displaced to Ein Al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon. Between 1957 and 1983 he worked for a variety of newspapers in Lebanon and the Gulf. In 1983 he returned to Kuwait to work for "Al-Qabas" newspaper until 1985 when he was forced to leave to London to work with the same newspaper in its London office. During this period he published more than 40,000 cartoons. The New York Times once wrote: "If you want to know what the Arabs think of the US look at Naji Al-Ali's cartoons." The Time magazine also described him saying: "This man draws with human bones." The 'Asahi' Japanese newspaper wrote: "Naji Al-Ali draws using phosphoric acid."

On Wednesday July 22 1987 at 17:10 Greenwich meantime, Naji Al-Ali parked his car in central London, and walked a few meters towards the offices of Al-Qabas newspaper where he worked. A dark complexioned, curly haired, young man surprised him with a bullet in his head and ran away as Naji Al-Ali fell on the pavement. On August 29th, Naji Al-Ali finally died in hospital and was buried on September 3rd in Brookwood cemetery in Woking. His death marked the end of an era, and ironically, the beginning of the Intifada in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Until this day, his cartoons are used over and over again, and "Handala" is still as relevant today as he was twenty years ago. (From "This week in Palestine" No 14, August 1999) - Wikipedi


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