Emile Habiby

  • Issue: December 2003
  • Designer: Ruth Beckman-Malka
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 520 (no phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

The writings of Emile Habiby - writer, political journalist and leader - opened a window to the Palestinian experience in general and in Israel in particular. His fiction, plays and articles are full of descriptions of the place where he lived and express his special connection to his birth town, Haifa, where he also chose to be buried. His emotional and political connection to Haifa can be summarized by the inscription on his gravestone: "I Stayed in Haifa"

From 1941 to 1943 Emile Habiby worked as a news announcer and culture editor of the Arabic Section of the Palestine broadcasting station, Alquds. In those years he began cultural and political activities in the Communist Party and he was one of the founders of the "National Liberation League". After 1948 Habiby helped establish and lead the Israeli Communist Party, which he represented in the Knesset for 20 years (1953-1972). In 1972 he resigned from the Knesset to devote himself to his writing and journalism ournalism as editor of the AI-Ittihad newspaper, which he had edited for 45 years. Because of disagreements with the rest of the leadership, Habiby resigned from the party and the newspaper, in 1989, and in 1990 he resigned from all political life.

Amongst Habiby's work: "The Sextet of the Six Days War" (1968), "The Opsimist" (1972-1974), "Luka' the son of Luka"' (1980), "Ikhtaya" (1985), "Saraya, the Daughter of the Ghoul" (1991), "Cum El-Rubabikia" (1992). Emile Habiby's books have been translated into many languages and place him in the top league of modern Arab writers in the world.

In 1990 Emile Habiby was granted the highest Palestinian literary honor, "The Jerusalem Prize" and in their special January 1992 issue the distinguished London-based Arabic Magazine Al Majala nominated Emile Habiby the best novelist in the Arab world for 1991. "Saraya, the Daughter of the Ghoul", was also nominated as best novel in the Arab world for 1991.

The Israel Prize for Literature was granted to Habiby in 1992 and the fact that he agreed to accept the prize created great commotion within the Arab world.

Emile Habiby was the founder and chairman until the day he died of The Committee of Israeli and Palestinian Writers, Artists and Academics that was established in 1983. In 1990 he founded "Arabesque Publishing House" and in 1995 began the publication of the periodical of Palestinian literature "Masharef" that is still published today.

Siham Daoud
Emile Habiby's Estate Manager

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Emile Habiby (1921-1996)