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The Characters » Martyrs of Afrin »

THE LEGENDARY SULEYMAN AL-HALABI
Suleyman Al-Halabi was born in Kokanieh(Al-Jazronieh) in  Afrin to north-western of Aleppo city in1777. His father Muhammad Amin was an Islamic religious man; he was from Os Qopar family (Osman Qobaro).

Suleyman Halabi’s Family Tree (Ous Qopar Family):

The members of Os Qopar’s family are eight; their grandsons who are still alive up to now in Kokanieh (KOKAN>) are:

1-Muhammad Amin Os Qopar: the father of the martyr Suleyman Muhammad Amin Os Qopar(Al-Halabi)
2-Hamo Os Qopar: One of his grandsons is the current mayor (mukhtar) of Kokanieh, Muhammad Ibn Mustafa Ibn Hannan Ibn Hamo Os Qopar
3-Abdo Os Qopar: His present grandson, Haneef Ibn Khalil Ibn Abdo Os Qopa, is still in the village.
4-Murad Os Qopar: His present grandson, Muhammad Ibn Mustafa Ibn Murad Os Qopar, is still in the village.
5-Mustafa Os Qopar: His present grandson, Waheed Ibn Abdo Ibn Mustafa Os Qopar, is still in the village.
6-Hussein Os Qopar: His grandson,Hussein Ibn Khalil Ibn Hussein Os Qopar,is still in the village.
7-Hasan Os Qopar: His grandson, Rasheed Ibn Majeed Ibn Hasan Os Qopar, is still in the village.
8-Ali Os Qopar…

The relatives of the legendary in the village are, of course, proud of the martyr Suleyman Muhammad Os Qopar who was a martyr to the cause of freedom. His relatives are as patriotic as the legendary was.

His father worked as a grocer where he sold margarine and olive oil. Suleyman Al-Halabi was twenty when his father sent him to Cairo by walk in 1797 in order to study Islamic sciences in Al-Azhar University. He settled down in ‘’Rowaq al-Showam’’- a specialized dormitory for Al –Azhar students from Al-Sham countries students where he received his education and he stayed with his Al-Showam   colleagues.

His relation with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sharqawi, one of his professors, was strengthened to such an extent that he sometimes stayed at his house. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sharqawi, who refused to surrender to the French invasion, took part in breaking out the wick of Cairo revolution on 19th of October 1798. Suleyman was with his professor Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sharqawi when Napoleon’s army invaded the territories of Al-Jeeza and then Al-Mahrousa-Cairo.

Afterthat, the French invaders suppressed and persecuted the Egyptian people as Al-Gaberti mentioned. Meanwhile, Ibrahim Big motivated the Egyptians to revolt against the invaders in Ghazza and Murad Big instigating the Egyptian people to fight against the invaders in Sa’id, Egypt, a thing forced Ponapart to deceive by sending a letter to Sherif Al-Mecca Ghaleb ibn Masoud as well as dispatching   another statement to the Sheikhs of Al-Mahrousa- Cairo preaching them as he claimed that he had destroyed the churches of Europe and he had deposed the Pope of Rome before coming to Egypt and that he was the fan of the Prophet Muhammad and he was the supporter of Islamic religion.

However, the Egyptian people were not duped by such claims and therefore they broke out the first Cairo revolution against the invaders starting off from Al-Azhar Mosque region. The invaders’ shells replied and violated the sanctity of the great mosque where the invaders’ horses polluted it by occupying it and hanged six of Al-Azhar Sheikhs of them was Suleyman Halabi’s professor,Sheikh Al-Sharqawi. They were dragged to the citadel where they were hanged by their neck and their bodies were then picked up to unknown places.

After the invaders were able to suppress the first Cairo revolution, their oppression increased and every resistant fighter and every suspect in the name of Islamic Egyptian patriotic popular resistance was pursued. Meanwhile, a lot of people fled and vanished without trace. Afterthat, the circumastances( to unite the resistance plans) developed and improved internally as well as externally.
Suleyman Halabi left Egypt and returned to Al-Sham countries after being absent for three years from his home village Kokanieh in Afrin where he met Ahmad Agha who was one of Ibrahim Big’s volunteers army.  Ahmad Agha told him that Aleppo Ottoman governor fined his father Muhammad Amin largely and that Ahmad Agha he promised him to remove the fine and told Suleyman Halabi to go on his Islamic jihadi duty and asked him to assassinate Ponapart Caliph,General Klipper.

Ponapart had invaded Khan Youness, Al-Arish, Ghazza, and Yafa and failed to invade the walls of Aka due to alliance between Ahmad Pasha Al-Jazzar and Ibrahim Big who left Ghazza and went to Jerusalem, Nablis’s Mountains, and Al-Khalil instigating the soul of resistance as well as his continuous efforts in alliance with Istanbul in order to withstand the invaders inside Egypt. After his failure to invade Aka, Napleon with his army was defeated and left Sham countries and went to Egypt and then secretly to France by sea on Monday on the16th of August 1799 leaving the leadership of his army to General Klipper after his famous   statement to Jews to establish the great state of Israel starting from Palestine.

Suleyman Halabi carried on walking until he arrived to Jerusalem and he prayed in Al-Aqsa mosque in March, 1800 and then he went to Al-Khalil where Ibrahim Big and his men were in Nablis’s Mountains. After staying twenty days in Al-Khalil, Suleyman Halabi went to Ghazza in April 1800 where Yassen Agha, who was one of Ibrahim followers, gave him hospitality in the great mosque. Suleyman handed him a letter from Ahmad Agha who was staying in Aleppo. The letter contained a plan as to the killing of General Klipper, for Suleyman was a member of Islamic resistance which struggled for liberating Egypt from the invaders.

In Ghazza Yassen Agha gave Suleyman Halabi forty pence in order to cover his expenses in companion with camel caravan which carried soap and tobacco to Egypt and to buy a knife from a shop in Ghazza- a knife by which Suleyman killed General Klipper. The journey from Ghazza to Cairo took six days and there Suleyman once again joined the group of Al-Azhar students from Sham who were staying in Rwaq Al-Sham; four of them were Quran’s teachers from Ghaza in Palestine whose names were Muhammad, Abdullah, and Se’id Abdul-Qadiri and Ahmad Al-Wali.  Suleyman told them that he insisted on killing General Klipper as well as devoting himself to the Islamic Jihad in order to liberate Egypt from the invaders but his friends did not believe him a lot.
On the fifth of June 1800, the young Suleyman Halabi wrote a lot of prayers to God on a lot of paper and hung them in the specified place in the mosque. Then he directed to Burkat Al-Azbakieh where General Klipper was staying in Muhammad Big Al-Alfi’s palace which Ponapart usurped for staying. After Klipper and Kostatine Brotine the great of French engineers finished having lunch in a palace nearby his residence, Suleyman was able to enter the palace’s park where he could stab General Klipper with his knife in his liver and navel as well in his right arm and his right cheek. He could also stab Brotine six stabs in different places of his body and then he was arrested by the French military knights; Joseph Brien and Robert where they stripped him of his knife by which he fought in order to gain the honour of Islamic Jihad for the sake of Egypt‘s dignity and liberation from the invaders.

Suleyman was on trial for murder and his right hand was burnt to the wrist bone during investigation; he denied his relation with Sheikh Al-Sharqawi as well as the  different Egyptian Islamic popular resistance movements including the Egyptian, the Hijazi Arabian, the Mamloukyan, the Ottoman and the Shami movements. However, he refered during the processes of investigation that he spent thirty four days with his four friends from Ghazza before achieving his duty and that he insisted on killing General Klipper from pure JIhadi point of view but they did not believe him and he also added that none of his friends was an Egyptian and they had no link with him.

Thus, such confession made the court condemn the four friends for covering the crime before happening. The punishment given by the court was as following:

-Suleyman was pointed stick to death.

-Ahmad Al-Wali and Muhammad Abdullah Alghazi’s heads were cut in front of Suleyman before being killed but Said could flee. That was at 11, 30 o’clock on28/6/1800 when the three Palestinians were hanged in front of Suleyman Halabi and their bodies were incinerated. Afterthat, a stick was stuck into the bowels of Suleyman Halabi on the hill Husin Al-Mujama(Hill Scorpions)where his corpse was left on the stick for several days for predatory birds as well as wild animals to eat.

That was after the burial of General Klipper in nearby the Palace Al-Ayni in Cairo in a large official ceremony and then his corpse was put in the coffin made from lead wrapped in the French flag; on the flag was Suleyman’s knife which bought from Ghazza.
General Jack Mino took the place of General Klipper who was the chief of Rasheed city’s police. Jack announced his Islam in a very dirty political trick and he named himself Abdullah Mino and got married to a widowed woman called Zainab Bint Muhammad Al-Bawwab where she gave birth to children and went with him to France after the Ottoman in alliance with the British could force him   as well as all his men to withdraw from Egypt and join Napoleon Ponapart’s journey who was promoted to French consul before becaming the great French emperor and then a captive in Alba Island and then Sant Hilana Island where he was poisoned by a poisonous liquid called arsenic.

General Abdullah Mino took General Klipper with him to Paris in a box and the bones of Suleyman Halabi in another box. Having building the (Anfalid- Martyrs)’s Museum nearby Lover Museum in Paris, there were two shelves in the museum’ hall; upper shelf where Clipper’s skull was put on and nearby written board, ’’the skull of the legend Klipper and there was a lower shelf where Suleyman Halabi’s skull was put on and there was a nearby written board, ’’the skull of the criminal Suleyman Halabi’’. And the two skulls are still on in the museum up to now.
 This is the tale of Suleyman Halabi in brief which cannot be separated from the present political,religious, and social Egyptian conditions. It assures that Suleyman Halabi was a real hero and a martyr to the cause of freedom and Islam; his name, struggle and bravery is worthy of being immortalized.

The information is from different resources:

1- The Syrian Geographical Dictionary, volume 2, p668.
2- The inhabitants of Kokanieh village (the grandsons of Suleyman Halabi’s uncles).

Prepared by: Tirejsoft, Afrin 23/9/05

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