Gaza security forces break up Egypt event at literature festival

MENA and Ahram Online, Thursday 10 May 2012

Literary forum at solidarity festival in Gaza headed by Ahdaf Soueif and other Egyptian writers broken up by Palestinian security forces on pretext that organisers had failed to acquire a required licence


Gaza security forces broke up an event at the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest), headed by renowned novelist Ahdaf Soueif and attended by authors and poets from Egypt and Palestine Wednesday, claiming organisers didn’t hold a required licence for the event.

Attendees at first refused to leave the event, which was taking place at the Al-Pasha Centre in Gaza, but were later led out by security forces.

“We don't know why they cancelled the event,” Soueif said.

Three hours after the incident, Gaza's police chief apologised and promised to investigate what had happened, according to the official PalFest website.

The delegation arrived Sunday to participate in various cultural events, including a visit to the sit-in for supporters of Palestinian war hostages, and will depart Thursday.

The Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) was launched on 6 May in Gaza with various events that extended to Ramallah in the West Bank and Cairo.

Events are taking place in schools, universities and cultural centres and are free and open to public. 

The closing event will be held at 8pm on Friday 11 May at Cairo's Rawabet Theatre.

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