Gulf writers to boycott UAE festival over Israel deal

Gulf writers to boycott UAE literature festival over Israel normalisation deal
1 min read
11 January, 2022
A number of intellectuals from several Gulf counties will boycott a UAE-held literature festival taking place next February, to protest the state's normalisation deal with Israel.
The UAE and Israel struck a normalisation deal in August 2020 [AFP]

A number of Gulf intellectuals have announced they will boycott a UAE literature festival taking place in February due to Abu Dhabi's normalisation with Israel.

The Gulf Coalition Against Normalisation said that the Omani writer Bushra Khalfan, and Kuwaiti writers Mona Al-Shamri, Ahmed Al-Zamam and Ali Ashour, decided to boycott the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

The list of invitees included writers, academics, and intellectuals from a number of Arab countries.

The Gulf Coalition Against Normalisation has called on other writers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman - countries which have not normalised ties with Israel - to withdraw from the event.

Israel and the UAE struck a normalisation deal in August 2020 with Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan following suit shortly after.

The accords sparked angry protests among pro-Palestine activists and the Arab public.

Since the establishment of the Abraham Accords, the UAE has signed a number of military, economic and cultural agreements with Israel.