This year, Palestinian novelist Ahmed Masoud — author of Vanished — was denied entry for the 2016 Palestine Festival of Literature:
Masoud, who is also a UK citizen, wrote briefly about this denial on his website.
PalFest organizers wrote on Facebook that, “He is the second invited participant to the festival to be denied entry after poet Inua Ellams was denied a visa by the Israeli embassy in London,” adding, “We work in the hope, and in the conviction, that one day all citizens will be allowed to travel freely through Palestine.”
Nonetheless, the festival kicked off in Ramallah with a night of poetry. Writer-translator-editor Bhakti Shringarpure tweeted about the opening night:
There was also a simultaneous screening of On the Bride’s Side in Gaza, which for the last few years has hosted simultaneous PalFest events.
Then last night, Shringarpure appeared with Mohamed El Shahed, discussing “conflict, architecture and the battle over space,” and poets Rickey Laurentiis and Mostafa Qossoqsi read their work in Jerusalem.