Available Years 1911, 1920–1932

​This 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.1 Similar to most newspapers, the paper was not published during the First World War. Publication resumed on 23 September 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.2 In 1913 (or at the beginning of the 20th century) the newspaper put out a weekly supplement in Hebrew (called Hashofar, analogous to Al-Nafir in Arabic). Another example is a notice that appeared at the top of the front page of the issue of 20 January 1920 that 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 ones that followed are 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 Twenties advertisements like these even appeared on the front page of the newspaper. Other newspapers were harshly critical of the owners of Al-Nafir and accused the newspaper of being “recruited” for financial gain.3

In contrast to Yehoshua’s claim, others have argued that the newspaper took a generally critical stance against the Mandatory authorities and the Zionist activity on one hand and the Palestinian leadership identified with the Husseini camp on the other. It seems that business considerations dictated his 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 1924.4 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.


1. It is possible that the newspaper moved for a short period (about one year) to Jaffa before the move

to Haifa. See -

قسطندي شوملي، الصحافة العربية في فلسطين: تاريخها وروادها وتشريعاتها، عمان: مؤسّسة الوراق للنشر والتوزيع، 2015، ص 16.

2. يعقوب يهوشع، تاريخ الصحافة العربية في فلسطين في العهد العثماني (1908-1918) (القدس: مطبعة المعارف، 1974)؛ محمد سليمان، تاريخ الصحافة الفلسطينية، الجزء الأول (1876-1918)، الاتحاد العام للكتّاب والصحافيين الفلسطينيّين، ص 71; قسطندي شوملي، الصحافة العربية في فلسطين، ص 93-95.

See also כבהא, עיתונות בעין הסערה: העיתונות הפלסטינית כמכשיר לעיצוב דעת קהל 1929-1939

., 24- 25, 160 (ירושלים: יד בן צבי, 2004), עמ' 13-12

3. See for example, يعقوب يهوشع، تاريخ الصحافة العربية في فلسطين في العهد العثماني (1908-1918)، القدس: مطبعة المعارف، ص 50- 54؛ محمد سليمان، تاريخ الصحافة الفلسطينية 1976-1876، الجزء الأول (1876-1918)، الاتحاد العام للكتّاب والصحافيين الفلسطينيّين، ص 71; قسطندي شوملي، الصحافة العربية في فلسطين، ص 95-93; כבהא, עיתונות בעין הסערה, עמ' 12-11.

4. يعقوب يهوشع، تاريخ الصحافة، م.س، ص 54.