A third-generation refugee, the 27-year-old artist has never set foot in Lydda
. He lives in Ramallah and it is difficult for a resident of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to get permission to cross the border to Israel.
When the inhabitants of Lydda
flee from their village, Mr Ali's older brother sees a woman carrying two babies.
St George is believed to have been dragged through the streets of Lydda
in Palestine and then beheaded for refusing to renounce his faith.
They would have seen George's shrine at Lydda
, and they invoked his help and support in battle.
His dad was Greek, his mother was from Palestine and he was born in Lydda
In 1979, an Israeli censorship committee chaired by the justice minister deleted five evocative paragraphs from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's memoir: his first-person account of the expulsion of Arab residents from the towns of Lydda
and Ramie during Israel's War of Independence in 1947-49.
A great many Liverpool people, of course, have Irish links - but the question continues to be asked (though it has been asked for so long some people have probably given up): "Why isn't St George's Day celebrated in a similarly enthusiastic way?" I wrote a feature on this 11 long years ago, at a time when more and more people were organising events in honour of the man "born in Lydda
, Roman Palestine, who was a soldier in the Roman army and later venerated as a Christian martyr (he died in 303 AD)" - yes, Wikipedia again.
Summary: In the early days of May 1972, the world turned its eyes to Tel Aviv, where four Fedayeen had hijacked a Belgian airliner, forcing its captain to land at Lydda
Airport (now Ben-Gurion International Airport).
He looks clearly at how early Zionists, fired by desire for a homeland, overlooked and later displaced the Arabs who already lived in Palestine; he recounts his military duty in a Gaza prison camp and pieces together the story of the destruction of the Arab town of Lydda
It was formerly Lydda
airport; and Lydda
, a major town in its own right during the British mandate, was designated Palestinian in the 1947 UN Partition.
The monastery is named after Saint George of Lydda
, and its Arabic name (Mar Georgios al-Humaira) either refers to the finding of one of his body parts in the area after he was tortured and executed by pagans, or refers to the nearby archeological site al-Humaira.