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Naji al-Ali

Master caricaturist, poignant critic of Palestinian plight.

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Date of Birth:



Al-Shajara, Tiberias, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

His art profoundly influenced Arab political discourse and Palestinian identity.

Brief bio

Naji al-Ali was a distinguished Palestinian cartoonist known for his critical commentary on the Palestinian condition and Arab politics. His work is revered for its poignant satire and symbolism, particularly the character “ Handala,” which has become an icon of Palestinian resistance.

Major Milestones


  • 1959 - Enrolled at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts but dropped out due to detentions by the Lebanese Army.

  • 1969 - Created Handala, the ten-year-old character symbolizing the Palestinian Case.

  • 1979 - Elected Secretary General of the League of Arab Caricaturists and a member of the Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists.

  • 1985 - Expelled from Kuwait, sought refuge in London, and worked at the international Al-Qabas newspaper.

  • 1987 - Assassinated in London, marking an abrupt end to his influential career.

  • Introduced Handhala, a symbol of Palestinian identity and resistance...See More

  • His cartoons offered a biting criticism of the Palestinian and Arab political situation, with a collection numbering nearly fourteen thousand drawings...See More

  • Won the first prize in the Exhibition of Arab Caricatures in Damascus in 1979...See More

  • Posthumously awarded "The Golden Pen of Freedom" in 1988 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers...See More

  • His life and work were celebrated in films and the establishment of The Naji al-Ali Cultural Center in Beirut.

Date of Last Update: 
December 14, 2023

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