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Arab publishers withdraw from German book festival award Palestinian author award pulled

October 14, 2023 at 1:55 pm

Adania Shibli. [wikipedia]

Arab publishing bodies have withdrawn from a German book festival after a planned award to a Palestinian author was scrapped, the National has reported.

Adania Shibli was due to receive the LiBeraturpreis literature prize at the Frankfurt International Book Fair on Friday. It was for the German translation of her novel Minor Detail, which centres on a Palestinian Bedouin woman raped by Israeli soldiers in 1949.

The event was cancelled as ” no one feels like celebrating at the moment,” a statement said.

On Wednesday, The fair’s Director Juergen Boos condemned the Palestinian resistance forces’ attack on Israel and said “special events” would be held to “make Jewish and Israeli voices particularly visible” at the event.

Arab publishers due to take part withdrew, with the Sharjah Book Authority saying: “We champion the role of culture and books to encourage dialogue and understanding between people. We believe that this role is more important than ever.”

The Emirates Publishers Association also pulled out the event, while the president of the Arab Publishers’ Association in Egypt, which represents  more than 1,000 regional publishers said: “We certainly denounce any attack on a civilian from any side but viewing the case from a single angle and accepting this injustice that the Palestinian people have been subjected to for decades is a big mistake.”

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