Muhammad Ali Taher was born in 1896 in Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank, about 49 kilometers north of Jerusalem, Palestine. Nablus, in 72 AD by the Roman emperor Vespasian known as the Flavian Neapolis, was the center of trade and culture for Palestine.
Muhammad Ali Taher’s father named Aref Eltaher and his mother Badieh Kurdieh. Muhammad Ali Taher was one of seven children – three girls and four boys. His family is from the Jaradat clan, which is scattered throughout northern Palestine. Including the descendants of Juhayna, one of the famous surnames in Saudi Arabia. (Read also; Bung Karno’s Footsteps of Support for Palestinian Independence )
Muhammad Ali Taher moved to Egypt in March 1912, first arriving in Port Said before settling in Cairo. Started his career as a journalist at the Beirut-based newspaper Fata Al Arab. He once wrote articles warning of the Zionist movement’s intention to build a Jewish state in Palestine.
Muhammad Ali Taher then published his own newspaper and in his lifetime had three newspapers, namely Ashoura, Al-Shabab, and Al-Alam Al-Masri. Ashoura newspaper (October 1924 – August 1931) was Muhammad Ali Taher’s main media. (p. 60, @ eltaher.org)
Meanwhile, Al-Shabab was published from August 1931 to January 1937, replacing Ashoura, which was frozen by the Egyptian government. As for Al-Alam Al-Masri, his lifespan was shorter, from April 1939 to August 1939, due to the outbreak of the second world war.
In 1953 the Egyptian government under the leadership of General Mohamed Naguib gave Ashoura permission to be published again. However, the Minister of Home Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Egypt Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser still prohibited the publication of Ashoura. Since then Muhammad Ali Taher has had no media anymore.
Before publishing the Ashoura newspaper, Muhammad Ali Taher established the Palestinian Arab Information Office and the Palestine Committee in 1921 in Cairo, Egypt. Its office, which is located at Jalan Abdelaziz 30, Ataba El-Khadra Square in the center of Cairo, is named Dar Ashoura. Then move to the Manousakis Building on 119 Jalan Ratu Nazli which is better known as Jalan Ramses. (p. 6, @ eltaher.org)
After the Ashoura newspaper was published in 1924, Dar Ashoura’s office became a destination for those (figures) who fled their country because they were under colonial occupation or were ruled by an authoritarian regime. Politicians and asylum seekers from various countries can come and usually meet in “Dar Ashoura” without having to make prior appointments. They all know that the doors of Ashoura’s editorial office are open 19 hours every day, from 7 am to 9 pm. (p.14, @ eltaher.org)
From the eltaher.org page, it is mentioned that many Indonesian figures have visited Dar Ashoura. Among them were Mohamed Rashidi and Zein Hassan Lc Lt, when they came to Egypt to seek support for Indonesian independence in 1944. After Indonesia’s independence, both served as Indonesian ambassadors to Egypt.
There was also Foreign Minister Haji Agus Salim and Vice President Mohammad Hatta, when they visited Egypt they were hosted at Dar Ashoura by Muhammad Ali Taher. There is even a unique story revealed by eltaher.org, long before Indonesia’s independence, there was a young man named Abdul Kahar Muzzakir – written by Abdulqahhar Muzzakar – who came to Egypt to continue his studies.
When the young man faced difficulties because of a war raging, Muhammad Ali Taher took care of him. Including when he faced obstacles in college, Muhammad Ali Taher did not hesitate to help by meeting the Minister of Education there. Until finally the young man graduated from college and returned to his homeland. (p.15, @ eltaher.org)
Even Abdul Kahar Muzakkir participated in the General Islamic Conference in Jerusalem to discuss the development of the situation in Palestine from the end of December 1931 to early January 1932. There were about 20 delegates from other countries and at that time Abdul Kahar Muzakkir was mentioned as a delegation from Indonesia.