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UAE publishers quit Frankfurt Book Fair over award cancellation

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) are pulling out of the Frankfurt International Book Fair due to the cancellation of an award for a Palestinian author, Adania Shibli, and statements made by the fair’s organizers.

The LiBeraturpreis Literature Prize, intended for Shibli in recognition of her novel “Minor Detail,” which focuses on a tragic incident involving a Palestinian Bedouin girl in 1949, was revoked.

The decision was initially attributed to mutual agreement with Shibli but later changed to being solely the organizers’ choice. They cited the unfavorable climate for celebrations due to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the founder of EPA and chairperson of SBA, emphasized the importance of books and culture in fostering unity and understanding during times of crisis.

The Frankfurt Book Fair’s director, Juergen Boos, denounced recent attacks by Hamas in Israel and pledged to include more stage moments for Israeli and Jewish voices at the fair.

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