Saturday, June 23

Emile Habibi Road - finally.

"The madman, in the meantime, was busy painting a wall with a brush tipped into a bucket with no bottom. When the lawyer returned, sweat streaming, the madman asked, "Well, did you uproot the tree?"
"Yes I did," the lawyer replied. "I uprooted it completely, but didn't find your treasure."
"Get yourself a brush and a bottomless bucket and stand next to me and do some painting," the madman suggested."

From "The Secret Life of Saeed, the Pessoptimist" by Emile Habibi

Once upon a time the streets and neighbourhoods in Jaffa (well those that had names at least, many were known by the numbers, such as "60 street", - today's Kedem Sstreet) had Palestinian or Ottoman names, Boustrous, Nouzha, Jamal Pasha, Manshiyeh and Ajami, to mention just a few.

After 1948 everything was done to wipe out Jaffa's Palestinian character and street names were changed. Nouzha became Jerusalem Boulevard and Boustrous was changed into Raziel.
In all of Jaffa there are 4 or 5 streets with Arab names.
For many years now requests have been submitted to the municipality to name Jaffa's streets after Palestinians. The municipality had refused these requests for a variety of reasons, until now.
Finally, after many long years, a little justice. The municipality has authorised the request to name a street after Emile Habibi (1921-1996), author, politician (Knesset Member for the communist party), editor of the Al Itihad daily newpaper and Israel Prize for Literature recipient.

Other streets in Jaffa will be named for Ibn Khaldoun and others.
It's about time.





2 comments:

Perdix said...

Cinema Paradiso lost?

samc said...

Good news at last,
I was at Zavta June 1996 when Emil Habibi died and they had some of the best Artists in Memorial to Emil. The Book survived these 11 years I still have it. The book is called
The "Opsimist" and has been on Stage.
It is about the Israeli Arabs -Palestinians who are not Optimists and cannot afford to be Pessimist's...
So they are Opsimists...
Habibi is also known for his saying:
"I stayed in Haifa" he did not leave in 1948.