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Showing 81 - 100 from 118 entries

> François Nicodeme, composer
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> Ibtisam Barakat: Writer, poet and educator
> Mrs Hind Husseini:
> Munib R. Masri, entrepreneur and minister
> Yousef Khasho, composer
> Husni Elias Haddad, musician, industrialist
> George Ibrahim: Theatre artist
> Fady Abu Sultan, tea seller in Gaza
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> Edward Muallem: Theatre Pioneer, Actor, Trainer,...
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> Musa Sanad and the Artas Folklore Center:Timeline...
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Husni Elias Haddad, musician, industrialist
submitted by This Week In Palestine

The late Husni Haddad, Abu Ramzi, is what you would call salt of the earth. He was a patriot, a musician, and an industrialist. He would laugh even when life closed in on him and had enough warmth and confidence to spread in abundance to all those around him. He is the kind of person who would (and did) tune a guitar to sound like an ’oud and then play and sing to family and friends during a long summer night. At the piano, he would play Beethoven with such passion that you would think he were telling his own life story. He was the relentless optimist who kept hoping for the better, yet a staunch believer in principles, which ultimately caused him to spend years in prisons defending his country and those principles. Although tortured to the point where his nails were pulled off, he never lost his humanity, his pride, or even his optimism.

Husni Elias Haddad was born in 1925 in Acre. His father, who worked with the Palestine Police under the British Mandate, had to move often from one city to another, but later the family resided in Jerusalem. Husni’s elementary education was spent at the Swedish school and then at Terra Sancta. His musical talents were discovered early, which paved the way for him to join the school band. He also took private classical piano lessons with the then famous musician Yousef Batroni. His final years in school were spent at Al-Nahda, after which he went to university in Egypt and graduated as an electrical engineer.

After briefly working in Syria and Lebanon, Husni got married and then settled in Amman where his career started to pick up. Unfortunately, his involvement in politics got the best of him, and he was sentenced to twelve years in Jordan’s infamous Al-Jafer prison, mainly for being a communist. Luckily though, Abu Ramzi was released after six years due to a general pardon ordained by the palace. As there was never a dull moment in his life, Husni used his time in prison to learn French (Brevet level), to read as much as he could (he even read the Qur’an twice), and to teach music, his passion. After convincing a guard to buy him strings from Amman, Husni carved a pumpkin into an ’oud and gave two music courses in prison!

His unwavering adherence to his principles and his uncompromising positions toward personal and national issues stood in stark contrast to his total abandonment of all external preoccupations while listening to music. This was one quality that differentiated Husni from other people. Music seemed to transform him into a different person altogether. To him, I suppose, these were moments of respite that would calm his troubled soul, which seemed to be in constant rebellion against injustice and the oppression imposed by human beings on other human beings.

After his release, he lived in Bethlehem and started the first Palestinian boiler factory, named Dafi (warm), in the town of Beit Jala. In the mid-seventies, the Israeli authorities imprisoned him for almost a year and a half without charging him. He was later deported to south Lebanon while the civil war there was raging. He made his way to Amman again, eventually got married (again), and in 1977, just when it looked like he was finally going to live a ‘normal,’ quiet life, he mysteriously died in a freak accident. He was found dead in an elevator shaft on a construction site.

Husni had two sons, Ramzi and As’ad.

This Week in Palestine
February 2007

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