Handala (Arabic: حنظلة), also Handhala, Hanzala or Hanthala, is a prominent national symbol and personification of the Palestinian people. The character was created in 1969 by political cartoonist Naji al-Ali, and first took its current form in 1973. Handala became the signature of Naji al-Ali’s cartoons and remains an iconic symbol of Palestinian identity and defiance. The character has been described as “portraying war, resistance, and the Palestinian identity with astounding clarity”.
The name comes from Citrullus colocynthis (Arabic: حنظل, romanized: Handhal), a perennial plant local to the region of Palestine which bears a bitter fruit, grows back when cut and has deep roots. Handala’s impact has continued in the decades after al-Ali’s 1987 assassination; today the character remains widely popular as a representative of the Palestinian people, and is found on numerous walls and buildings throughout the West Bank (notably on the Israeli West Bank barrier), Gaza and other Palestinian refugee camps, and as a popular tattoo and jewellery motif. It has also been used by movements such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and the Iranian Green Movement. Handala was born 10 years old and he will always be 10 years old. It was at that age that I left my homeland. When Handala returns, he will still be 10 years old, and then he will start growing up, Naji Al-Ali wrote.
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• 80% ringspun cotton, 20% polyester
• Twin needle stitching detailing
• Double fabric hood
• No drawcords
• Kangaroo pouch pocket with small hidden opening for earphone cord
• Ribbed cuffs and hem