Funerals as Markers of Resistance: The Passing of Ibrahim Abu Lughod and Faisal al-Husseini
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This double issue of JQF was about to go to press when the news arrived that Professor Ibrahim Abu Lughod had passed away. The editors’ decision to postpone the printing in order to include a piece of the life and death of Abu Lughoud was tragically compounded by the sudden death of Faisal al-Hussieni, the prominent and beloved Jerusalem leader. Both deaths are a significant blow to Palestinians in more than one sense - the two fallen leaders, each in his own right, played crucial roles in the Palestinian movement’s recent history. They both dedicated their lives to achieving one goal: the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people. And, both men passed away before that goal was accomplished.

Yet, even in their deaths they both managed to realize their dream, albeit symbolically. Abu Lughod’s funeral in Jaffa was an unprecendented Palestinian event in which thousands of people participated. For the first time since 1948, the flag of Palestine could be seen flying over the rooftops of Jaffa. In his death, Abu Loghoud returned to Jaffa as a proud Palestinian. The same can be said of al-Hussieni’s funeral. As his remains were transported from Ramallah to Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians joined the procession, breaking through the checkpoints in cars or by foot. Israeli and international media commented that, in essence, the Palestinians liberated East Jerusalem during the funeral. Israelis were nowhere to be found and Palestinian flags flew high throughout Arab Jerusalem.

In his death, Ibrahim Abu Lughod, the displaced Palestinian, managed to return to Jaffa fifty-two years after his departure. And in his death, Faisal al-Hussieni managed to show the world that Jerusalem is, after all, still a Palestinian city. In this issue of JQF, we feature two articles on the life and death of each of these great men. The first piece, written by Abu Lughod’s daughter, gives us an intimate understanding of Abu Lughod as a person and as a “son of Jaffa” - whether as a child and youth growing up in the city, in exilic memory, or in his return to Palestine and his beloved city. The second piece, dedicated to Faisal al- Husseini, and written by journalist Graham Usher, leaves the reader with a clear sense of al-Husseini’s legacy in Jerusalem and Palestine as a whole.

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