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Cameo : 18mm sardonyx shell cameo hand-carved
Metal Color : Hematite-tone
Stones : White Crystals
Measurement : Approx. 5-1/2"L x 5/8"W; fits 5-1/2" to 9" wrist

Handala, the Palestinian defiance symbol

Handala, also known as Handhala (Arabic: حنظلة), is the most famous of Al-Ali's characters. He is depicted as a ten-year-old boy, and appeared for the first time in Al-Siyasa in Kuwait in 1969. The figure turned his back to the viewer from the year 1973, and clasped his hands behind his back. The artist explained that the ten-year-old represented his age when forced to leave Palestine and would not grow up until he could return to his homeland; his turned back and clasped hands symbolised the character's rejection of "outside solutions". Handala wears ragged clothes and is barefoot, symbolising his allegiance to the poor. In later cartoons, he is actively participating in the action depicted not merely observing it. The artist vows that his figure, Handala will "reveal his face to the readers again only when Palestinian refugees return to their homeland".

Handala became the signature of Al-Ali's cartoons and remains an iconic symbol of Palestinian identity and defiance. Handala has also been used as the web mascot of the Iranian Green Movement. The artist remarked that "He was the arrow of the compass, pointing steadily towards Palestine. Not just Palestine in geographical terms, but Palestine in its humanitarian sense - the symbol of a just cause, whether it is located in Egypt, Vietnam or South Africa."

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