Germany has printed stamps depicting Naji al-Ali’s Handala, the cartoon of an orphan who became the iconic symbol of Palestinian identity and resistance back in early 1970s.
In an attempt to raise awareness about the deplorable conditions of Palestinians, Germany’s main post office (Deutsche post) is printing Ali’s work on a series of its stamps and plans to donate the revenue to equip a hospital in the Palestinian city of Beit Sahour, Palestinian television networkPaltoday.tv reported on Tuesday.
Handala is a 10-year-old boy who usually has his back turned to readers while clasping hands, conveying a symbolic message of rejecting the Israeli atrocities on Palestine.
Stamps printed by Germany’s Deutsche post, depicting Handala, the caricature of an orphan by famous Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali
“Handala will still be 10, 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,” reads a statement by Ali on the official Handala website. Handala is usually dressed in worn-out clothes and is barefoot to show solidarity with underprivileged Palestinian child refugees.
Handala graffiti in the West Bank village of Bil’in
Deutsche post decided to print the stamp after a delegation from a German medical charity visited Ahmad Maslamani hospital, the severely under-equipped medical center of Beit Sahour.
A graffiti of Naji al-Ali’s Handala on the West Bank separation wall
During the visit, Ali’s works, showcased on the walls of the hospital, caught the delegation’s attention. And after returning to their country, they managed to make Germany’s postal service carry out the awareness-raising measure.
One of the administrators of the hospital lauded Germany’s move and said that the hospital is still in dire need of medical supplies and equipment.
Ali, a severe critic of Israel and Saudi Arabia, was assassinated in 1987 in London.