Available between years 1947-1951

​This was a weekly newspaper founded by the journalist Hashim al-Saba' (Qalqiliya, 1912-1958)1. Al-Saba', an opponent of the British Mandate, was a member of the Independence (Istiqlal) party that advocated Arab national unity. He was also opposed to the competition between the two main Jerusalem families — Husseini and Nashashibi— for leadership of the Arab community. Al-Saba' was of the opinion that next to the Mandate and the Zionist movement, the Arab leadership in general and the Palestinian leadership in particular, posed the main obstacle to the liberation of the Palestinian Arabs from the harsh reality in which they were living. Therefore, alongside his political activities, al-Saba' sought to establish a critical newspaper that would focus on exposing the faulty leadership of the ruling authorities, as well as the local and national leadership. According to many accounts, al-Saba' was not an honest broker, exercised selective criticism and even blackmailed certain people and organizations.2 

Al-Saba' began his studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1924, and shortly after transferred to Cairo University. He went back to Palestine for a visit during the summer break of 1933 but because of the security situation at the time was barred from returning to Cairo. In 1934 he moved to Jaffa and began to work as a school teacher and remained there until the beginning of 1948. Together with other journalists in Jaffa (such as Mas'ud Jamil, Akram al-Khalidi, and Najib Faranjiyya) he was active in founding other newspapers (Al-Huriyya in 1945 and Nida al-Ard in 1946), and at the end of 1947 published an independent newspaper called al-Sarih (“The Revealed”). In April al-Saba' moved to Jenin where he published no more than four issues (issues 9-13) of the paper and from there made his way to Egypt (14 May 1948). He remained in Egypt for a year, having spent half of that time in jail. Upon his return to the country in 1949 he restarted publication of the newspaper, this time in Nablus (apparently from issue 14, on 18 June 1948). A month later, he moved to Jerusalem, and continued to publish the newspaper from there until November (or January) 1958, when publication of the newspaper stopped.3 

Al-Saba' was the newspaper’s owner, editor and main writer. Other writers sporadically contributed articles to the newspaper; occasionally the paper reprinted articles that had been published in foreign or local newspapers. As was common during the period of Jordanian rule when an order was given to close a paper, al-Saba' would publish the paper in Jerusalem under the name Al-Shabab (at least in the years 1951–1952).4

Publication of Al-Sarih was tied to al-Saba'’s frequent travels in the areas. The first issues (at least through issue 8) were published in Jaffa. Later the newspaper was published in Jenin until May 1948; from there al-Saba' moved to Egypt and then Jordan, and eventually returned to Nablus from where he continued to publish the paper, apparently from issue 14 (18 June 1949), through issue 42 (18 February 1950). The paper ceased publication after issue 127 (29 December 1951) and was published once again (it is unclear when) and then stopped in November or January 1958, with al-Saba'’s sudden death. 


 


1 Other sources record his date of death as 1956, however. Samih Hamuda has based his conclusion on information provided by al-Saba's family and friends who stated that he died suddenly in Jerusalem on 26 November 1958 and was buried in Qalqiliya (Hamuda, Hashim al-Saba', p. 150 = سميح حمودة، "حياة وذكريات الصحافي هشام السبع 1912-1958، فترة الانتداب البريطاني،" مجلة التراث والمجتمع - جمعية إنعاش الأسرة ومركز دراسات التراث والمجتمع الفلسطيني-، العدد 57 - صيف 2014، 139-154)

For more on the founder, see his autobiography. Al-Saba', Memoirs = هاشم السبع، ذكريات صفحي مضطهد، القدس: دير الروم الأرثوذكس، 1952 (صدر الجزء الأول فقط).

2 See the sources mentioned by Samih Hamuda (Hashim al-Saba',  p. 150 = سميح حمودة، المصدر السابق); and also the testimony of Yusuf Nafa' who knew Hashim al-Saba' personally and also worked at the printing house where al-Saba' printed the newspaper: يوسف نفاع، "يوسف نفاع: من السلط إلى القدس"،. Published on the site Akhbar al-balad on 21 May 2013.

3 According to Najar, and also Hamuda (personal correspondence), the newspaper continued to be published until January 1958) (Najar, ibid., 398), however according to other testimony, the paper had already stopped publication in 1951. According to al-'Aqqad, the newspaper stopped publication on 1 November 1958. al-'Aqqad, Tarikh, p. 162 = أحمد خليل العقاد، الصحافة العربية في فلسطين 1876-1948، ط1، دمشق: مطبعة الوفاء، جميع الحقوق محفوظة للمؤلف، 1966  (ط2، دار العروبة للطباعة والنشر، 1967),  It seems more likely that the newspaper did indeed come out also in November 1958 because al-Saba' died suddenly then and there is no reason to think that he stopped publishing the paper before his death. In the early 1950s, after the government authorities issued an order to shutter Al-Sarih, Alsaba published a newspaper under the name Al-Shabab (three issues of this alternative paper [issues 4, 6, and 7] somehow made their way into the microfilm holdings of the National Library).

4  Hamuda, ibid., 140