Saturday, June 2

GanTamar... Hadj Kakhil square

GanTamar is a central area of Jaffa, pronounced as if it is one word with the stress on Gan. I've asked different people why it is called that way and got different answers. It made me wonder about the names in the 'hood. Some streets are still numbered, others have names which have nothing to do with Jaffa and yet others may have official names, but no one uses them and very few even know them. In Jaffa places have their own names, often with roots that go back before 1948. Others.... i don't really know, here goes:

Hadj Kakhil square is a central point in Jaffa. It's not the official name of that little square (i don't really know how it is called, if at all), but the huge red neon light name pronounces the name fiercely, in Hebrew, "HADJ KAKHIL SQUARE", as if it were.

Not surprisingly, the small square connecting Shivtey Israel street and Yefet street is surrounded by small businesses owned by the family of that name; a restaurant, a grocery store, a pita bakery, a frozen yoghurt & fresh juice stand, a falafel joint, a toast counter and a smaller "humus only" restaurant. A few meters away there is also a counter of that name selling the best ma'amoul cookies in Jaffa and even a little further away along Yefet street another Hadj Kakhil store selling herbs and spices as well as various items said to be effective against the evil eye. I've probably forgotten a few other stores, but you get the point. (and no, they did not pay me for this article, yes i do by my grocery products in the slightly overpriced grocery, it's closest to my home and i'm lazy).
The Hadj Kakhils are not a large clan, but no doubt they're good business men and women. Nice, helpful and friendly people too, so it's pleasant to frequent their various establishments. By now the square is a landmark used by taxi and bus drivers and everyone else.

The other corner of the square is taken up by the "green house", another point of geographic reference. It's difficult to miss, a highe, 5 story green palatial house, surrounded by high walls. Today the military prosecution offices and the military court.

Once upon a time (read prior to 1948), the lovely house belonged to a wealthy orange-grove owner Khalil AlBanna. Old aerial photographs of the area show it to be located on the very outskirts of Jaffa, from here to the south west there were orange groves.

Khalil AlBanna was a wealthy man, father of 11 children, when he married a second wife, a 16 year old Alawitin, who bore him his 12th child, Sabri Khalil AlBanna in 1937.
After the father died in 1945, the young wife and her small son became unwanted outcasts in the wealthy AlBanna family who in 1948 fled to the Gaza strip, and after some time move to Nablous (then a part of the Jordanian kingdom), where Sabri grows up to become a very angry young man, who at the age of 18 joints the ba'ath party which soon becomes illegal.

Sabri runs away, and in Riyadh marries a refugee from Jaffa, Hiyam Al Bitar. They have three children, the oldest son is called Nidal. From then on, Sabri is known as Abu Nidal.
Rings a bell?
Exactly, the terrorist Abu Nidal.











11 comments:

J.P. said...

........................but you get the point (and no, they did not pay .......
Curious lines mrs. Ilany, you never got by accident a bonus watermellon because you are a "good" customer.
Would not be wondering if they'd be this evening on your doorstep with an extra crate of oranges.

Anonymous said...

And Yasser Arafat was born in Cairo,Egypt on 24 August 1929

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4004859.stm

yudit said...

Jaffa oranges are an old time thing. The groves were all uprooted when Jaffa's new neighbourhoods were constructed. The closest we have to an orange grove is "Pardes Dake" and Pardes "Abu Seif" and many things are frown in both, but i wouldn't call them oranges.

As to "anonymous": duh????

J.P. said...

Aah, I see the hint, instead of these sticky oranges you'd prefer a bottle of imported wine.

yudit said...

Hadj is exactly that. Someone who went to Mecca... WINE? Alcohol?

J.P. said...

So?

yudit said...

fat chance for a crate of wine

Perdix said...

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

yudit said...

i believe in freedom and non-violence.
somehow the murdering of athletes at the Olympic games and the murder of babies and toddlers don't fit into my understanding of "freedom fighter"...

Perdix said...

Than tell me how to label the actions from Deir Yassin until now done by the state.
Self-defense?

J.P. said...

For one used to order a crate of wine, a neighbour shopkeeper who has become Hadji must be something like a personal earthquake.
Being strict they also gave up selling Mon Cherie, methylated spirit and for example Glassex window cleaner?