Comrade Al-Hakim was born on August 1, 1925 in the city of al-Lydd, Palestine; at the time, Palestine was under British colonial control under the British Mandate, and Palestinians were facing the materialization of the colonial settler project known today as Israel. Dr. Habash attended Anglican school and then public school in al-Lydd during his early education; he then studied at the Orthodox school in Yafa, before secondary school in Jerusalem. He completed high school in 1942. During his childhood years, he was deeply influenced by the situation in Palestine, including the Palestinian revolution which took place between 1936 and 1939 against British colonialism and impending Zionist colonialism. He returned to Yafa after graduating high school, teaching for two years in the same school he attended before enrolling in the American University of Beirut in 1944 to study medicine.
In 1948, while Comrade Habash was studying in Beirut, al-Nakba took place, in which over 700,000 Palestinians, including Dr. Habash’s family and many other Palestinians in al-Lydd, were driven from their homes and made refugees. Along with other Palestinian and Arab comrades in Beirut, in response to al-Nakba, Dr. Habash founded the Arab Nationalist Movement. This movement became very strong among youth, students and intellectuals across the Arab world, and was the first pan-Arab movement to take up armed struggle to confront colonialism and to liberate occupied Arab land. After graduating with his medical degree in 1951, he participated in clinics serving Palestinian refugees in the camps in Jordan along with Comrade martyr Dr. Wadi’ Haddad, while continuing his leadership of the Arab Nationalist Movement. Read more »