Handala is a play that I wrote based on the cartoons of Naji Al-Ali. I am inspired by his work throughout the years before his assassination in London in 1987, and the life that his cartoons still have after his death. As
a writer, I also identify with the symbol of Handala, as it represents the continuation of struggle and resistance against the illegal Occupation. I call active, unarmed resistance “beautiful resistance,” and that is what Naji Al-Ali engaged in: beautiful resistance. I felt it was important to adapt his cartoons for the stage because they are still very relevant. There is so much false history that works to wash the truth of our memories away. Naji Al-Ali, the artist, is an important role model for the continuing commitment to human rights and values. Al-Ali’s creation, Handala, which is often humorous, represents the guardian of these same rights and values. I think that the cartoons of Handala are an intelligent and anguished cry against all the compromises and degradation of our values and rights. Handala’s spirit creates space for crushed people to speak, and to challenge the politicians and merchants of rights and values. Handala is also a vehicle through which we can reclaim our true histories.