BBC News Talks with Palestinian Cartoonist Naji Al

BBC News Talks with Palestinian Cartoonist Naji Al - BBC...

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BBC News Talks with Palestinian Cartoonist Naji Al-Ali Jane Doe, editor at BBC discussed the recent Danish cartoon controversy with Al-Ali in London on March 29, 2006. This interview is the second in a series of interviews with pertinent figures about this controversy and its place within Middle Eastern politics and cultural trends. Jane Doe is chief editor of BBC News online. Before holding this position, she worked as a staff writer at the Washington Post and later as a foreign correspondent for BBC . Her experiences in China and the Middle East have made her a much sought-after commentator on current events. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Doe earned a B.A. at the University of Iowa before receiving her Master’s at Columbia University. Following graduation, she spent several years in the American Peace Corps and later as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. government. She now resides in London’s Notting Hill with her husband and two children. Naji Al-Ali was born in 1938 in Galilee, Palestine. In 1948 he and his family left Palestine to live in a refugee camp in South Lebanon. Living with other families in what he called a “Palestinian ghetto” and attending a camp school solidified his feeling for his country (Abid, 1999). In the 1950s, the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, who himself was later assassinated, encouraged Al-Ali to continue his drawing and later published some of his cartoons (Barghouti, 2006). In 1958 Al-Ali he entered Beirut’s Art Academy to study painting. During his time there, he was continually harassed by Lebanese secret police and was arrested several times. In 1961, he was put in prison for 25 days. According to a friend with whom he was imprisoned, Abu Khalil Al Natour, Al-Ali would draw on anything available—including trousers and his own skin. Due to this continuous conflict with authority, he was eventually forced to leave the school
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(Abid, 1999). In 1963 he moved to Kuwait and worked for al-Talil magazine as an editor, designer, and cartoonist. It was here where he first began making a name for himself in political cartooning. Especially notable was the figure that appeared in each of his cartoons—Hanzala, a young Palestinian boy always seen with his hands behind his back, observing the injustices inflicted upon his people (Abid, 1999). In 1971 he returned to Lebanon and began working for al-Safir. There his work continued to be contentious among every political group. Al-Ali strove to cartoon from the perspective of common Arab men and women, seeking to provide biting social commentary, regardless of whether the target was conservative or liberal. He famously spoke out against the Palestinian Liberation Organization, particularly Yassar Arafat. In Lebanon he began to be the target of continuous threats, which eventually forced him to move back to Kuwait and then London. There, the threats were unabated until his assassination on July 22, 1987 (Fishbach, 2000). You spent many years exiled from Palestine in Southern Lebanon.
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BBC News Talks with Palestinian Cartoonist Naji Al - BBC...

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