PalFest Begins, Filmmaker Sara Ishaq Denied Entry

Because she made a documentary that Israel didn’t like, Sara Ishaq is essentially being banned from the country forever. She isn’t allowed to even go to the Palestinian Territories to be at a viewing of her own film. This is the sort of crackdown on freedom by Israel that doesn’t get enough exposure in the West and is indefensible.


The Palestine Festival of Literature opens today. The first event is set for Ramallah this evening, but one participant won’t be there: Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker Sara Ishaq.

From Ishaq's Facebook page. From Ishaq’s Facebook page.

Ishaq was set to appear in Bethelem on Wednesday, at Bethlehem University’s Furno Hall, alongside Leila Abdelrazaq, Malika Booker, Nathalie Handal, and Dirk Wanrooij.

She went to the Allenby Bridge with other PalFest participants. But, after a reported ten hours of waiting, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker was banned from Palestine for four years. She wrote on Facebook:

One month ago my 5-year ban to enter Palestine finally ended. I attempted to return on Wednesday to attend the Palestine Literature Festival where I was due to speak and present my film. After 10 hours of waiting, scrutiny and hostile interrogations by‪#‎Israeli‬ border control (Allenby Bridge), I was denied access to ‪#‎Palestine‬ and banned for another 5 years (and forced to wait…

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Categories: cinema, israel, Palestine, Scotland, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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