Al-Nafir - النفير
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About this newspaper
Title: Al-Nafir - النفير
Available online: 2 September 1911 - 20 December 1931 (222 issues; 962 pages)
Region: The Middle East
Country: Ottoman Palestine / Mandatory Palestine
Collection: Jrayed - Arabic Newspaper Archive of Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine
Frequency: Bi-Weekly / Weekly
Al-Nafir (The Horn) was a political and current events newspaper. In 1902 Ibrahim Zaka founded a newspaper called Al-Nafir al-'Uthmani, which was published in Alexandria. In the summer of 1908, following the return of Ottoman law, the newspaper was transferred to his brother Elia Zaka (Haifa ca. 1875-1926), a graduate of the Russian Seminary in Nazareth. At first Elia Zaka published the newspaper in Jerusalem under the name Al-Nafir, and later in 1913 moved it to Haifa. Like most other newspapers, the paper was not published during the First World War. Publication resumed publication on September 23, 1919, and shortly thereafter the name of the paper was changed to Al-Sa'iqa. According to researchers Yaakov Yehoshua and Mustafa Kabha, among others, the owner of the newspaper treated it like a business and cooperated with both Jews and the Mandatory regime. In 1913 (or perhaps earlier), the newspaper put out a weekly supplement in Hebrew (called Hashofar, analogous to Al-Nafir in Arabic). Similarly, a notice that appeared at the top of the front page of the issue of January 20th, 1920 stated that the government had decided to publish its announcements through the newspaper, which could be an indication of the close relations between the paper and the government. In the same issue and, in those that followed, one can find advertisements for Jewish-owned businesses, for example, liquor from Carmel Orient (today Carmel Vineyards) founded by Baron Rothschild, and Jewish-owned clinics. From the middle of the 1920s such advertisements even appeared on the front page of the newspaper. Other newspapers were critical of the owners of Al-Nafir and accused the newspaper of being “recruited” for financial gain. In contrast to Yehoshua’s claim, others have argued that the newspaper took a generally critical stance against the Mandatory authorities and Zionist activity, on one hand, and the Palestinian leadership identified with the Husseini camp, on the other. It seems that business considerations dictated this policy, which varied according to business interests. In 1921 Zaka founded another newspaper called Haifa, focused on workers, which did not last long and closed in 1924. After his death, his sons Suhayl and Zaki Zaka continued to publish the newspaper as a weekly in the identical format until it closed for good in 1945.
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