This poster is a richly colored, naively illustrated storyboard reflecting a child’s emotional attachment to a place. Translated from Arabic, it reads (right to left, top to bottom):
This poster was printed by a children’s publishing house in Cairo, Egypt and was made available as a small booklet as well. Both were distributed worldwide in many languages including French, Arabic, English, and Italian in conjunction with the United Nation’s global theme for 1979, the International Year of the Child.
She unfolds as a piece of children’s literature: soft illustrations depicting motherhood, earth, fertility, nature, family, and community, all described in brief captions using the simplest vocabulary. It is a picture-poem capturing the universal reverence of a child for home.
Yet on a deeper level, we can read this poster as a defiant refusal by the Palestinians to concede any part of their homeland — not the water, not the soil, not the air, not a single pebble or rock.
On its most subtle, lyrical level, She is nothing less than a manifesto of return.
© 2003 Liberation Graphics. All Rights Reserved.
Questions for A New
1) How would a Palestinian child in diaspora learn to love a home he or she had never seen?
2) Is the Palestinian devotion to the land as reflected in this poster long-standing or new?
3) How does the Palestinian devotion to the land compare with that of other indigenous peoples who have been invaded, occupied, or dispossessed by European colonialism such as the Irish, the indigenous Americans, and the Aboriginal people of Australia? What is at the root of their deep attachment to a particular homeland?
4) Zionists have argued that the Palestine of the late 19th century had been sparsely populated by unsettled, nomadic peoples. Assume for the sake of discussion that this is true. When people migrate back and forth across a land for centuries, what legitimate claim, if any, can they assert to that land?
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