Naji al-Ali, the Palestinian cartoonist who was murdered in 1987 in London, has a collection of his work out now, A Child in Palestine, with an introduction by cartoonist Joe Sacco. Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White, reviewing the book in this weekend’s Guardian said:
Few artists could have been more biblically destined for al-Ali’s prophetic status. Born in Galilee, he was a victim of the nakba (“disaster”) in 1948 when the Jews cleared the Promised Land of its previous inhabitants. He grew up in Lebanese refugee camps and prisons, scribbling protest cartoons on the walls, and eventually found work in newspapers. From 1969 onwards, his images featured the figure of Hanthala, the barefoot child who silently watches all the evils perpetrated in the Middle East. Hanthala became phenomenally popular in the Arab world, spawning a Garfield-like industry of coffee mugs, T-shirts, keyrings, and so on. But instead of a spoilt fat cat, here was a ragged witness to atrocity and political betrayal.
To see more of al-Ali’s images see the website devoted to his work.
Joe Sacco has also contributed a strip to War With No End.