Travel & Tourism

Yemeni Oscar Nominee Banned From Entering Palestine For Literature Festival

National Yemen

By Mada Masr

Israeli border staff barred filmmaker Sara Ishaq  from entering Palestine to participate in the Palestine Festival of Literature on Friday at the Allenby Bridge between Amman and the West Bank.

Ishaq was also issued a five-year ban from entering the country. Her previous five-year ban had just ended one month ago.

The 29-year-old Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary short in 2014 for Karama Has No Walls (2012), which focuses on the start of the Yemeni uprising, particularly the peaceful protesters.

“After 10 hours of waiting, scrutiny and hostile interrogations by Israeli border control (Allenby Bridge),” Ishaq wrote on Facebook, “I was denied access to Palestine and banned for another 5 years (and forced to wait in a bus for 3 hours without my passport until the border closed at 1 am).”

Founded in 2008, PalFest takes place in various locations across historic Palestine. It aims to “showcase and support cultural life in Palestine, breaking the cultural siege imposed on Palestinians by the Israeli military occupation and strengthening cultural links between Palestine and the rest of the world,” according to its website.

“There are multiple challenges putting on a festival in Palestine,” Hamilton told Mada Masr. “You can’t guarantee your artists will be allowed entry into the country, because Israel controls the border. We have had event venues tear-gassed, road-blocked and shut down by soldiers. We’ve had staff members detained at checkpoints. Other staff members are not allowed to travel between the festivals venues.”