Headline, June 14 2024/ ''' HANDALA* -STUDENTS'- HARDBALL '''



ARE GREAT HUMANS AND GREAT STUDENTS HISTORY? The World Students Society - for every subject in the world rises, to give the students of America a standing ovation for their sacrifices and struggles for global justice.

A CARTOON BOY pops up in protests. Handala, a very, very long a symbol of Palestinian struggle, has been embraced anew with tears, grief, blood, and great respect and honours.

When pro-Palestinian student protesters took over Hamilton Hall at Columbia University in New York last month and renamed it '' Hind's Hall,'' the banner they unfurled contained images of a cartoon character created over 50 years ago that symbolizes the resilience of Palestinians.

ON either side of the text were two images of a barefoot boy with tattered clothes and spiky hair, his back turned to us.

The character is called Handala [variously transliterated as Hanzala or Handzala ] - a name derived from a native plant that is. deep-rooted and persistent and bears better fruit - and has become a potent symbol of the Palestinian struggle.

The image was created in 1960 by the Palestinian political cartoonist Naji- Al-Ali, one of the most widely read cartoonists in the Arab world, who was murdered in London in 1987. [ The case remains unsolved.]

Handala is 10, the same age that Ali was when he became a refugee in 1948. After the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, also known as the Yom Kippur War, Ali exclusively depicted Handada with his back turned, a gesture that transformed him into a silent witness of the horrors and outrages going on around him.

The stance, according to the cartoonist, represented a rejection of the political machinations of foreign nations when it came to the fate of ordinary Palestinians.

Margaret Olin, a religious studies scholar at Yale Divinity School and a co-author of '' The Bitter Landscapes of Palestine,'' has been photographing Handala's appearance in mural's and as graffiti during her visits to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank over the past decade.

'' It's become a symbol of the whole Palestinian movement to return to their former homes,'' she said in a telephone interview.

She said that the character '' has a tinge of Gunter Grass's Oskar in ' The Tin Drum ' a child who also refused to grow while the disasters of Germany took place around him. He's the child as witness, the child who's stuck witnessing, just waiting for the disasters to pass. ''

The figure of Handala, she said, is '' plastered on houses in East Jerusalem, where residents are being forced out by illegal settlements. He's carried into protests. He's everywhere.''

'' One of the reasons the character is so ubiquitous is that Ali made him very easy to draw,'' Olin said, noting that children in West Bank refugee camps had drawn smiling faces on the back of Handal's head when they encountered him in murals, turning his suffering into joy.

Ali was known to be an equal opportunity critic, as likely to take aim at the failure of Arab countries in the region to support Palestinians as at Israel and the United States. At times, he even criticized the Palestinian Liberation Organization in his Handala images.

Peace activists in Israel have also adopted the figure of Handala over the years, showing him embracing another cartoon boy - Srulik, created by the Israeli cartoonist Kariel Gardosh, which became an embodiment of Israeli.

But Handala is not common there. Nizan Shaked, a professor of cultural studies at California State University, grew up in Haifa, Israel. She said in an email that she had encountered the character only in 1998, when she moved to the US.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, a grass roots solidarity movement that works '' to end the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza,'' has christened one of its ships Handala.

A publishing house in Italy and an artist's group in Japan have created posters in which the character has been reinterpreted for today.

The Honour and Serving of the latest Operational Research and the terrible Sadness of this Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Aruna D'Souza.

With most respectful dedication to the Leaders, the Global Founder Gramers of !WOW!, Grandparents, Parents, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. 

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