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Pro-Palestine stance strips off Shamsie from her literary award

Dortmund:  The German city has revised its decision to honor British-Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie of a literature award. The decision came into light after the council found out that the writer is supporting pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

The German city on Wednesday has decided not to honor the celebrated British-Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie of Nelly Sachs Prize, named after a Jewish poet, in honor of her literary work.

The eight-member jury decided not to award the renowned author on September 6th but the decision was made public on Wednesday night. The council also decided not to award any other author in 2019.

The released press note says, “Despite prior research, the members of the jury were not aware that the author has been participating in the boycott measures against the Israeli government for its Palestinian policies since 2014.”

“Shamsie’s political positioning to actively participate in the cultural boycott as part of the BDS (Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions) campaign against the Israeli government is clearly in contradiction to the statutory objectives of the award and the spirit of the Nelly Sachs Prize,” the statement added.

Responding to the council’s decision, Shamsie said it was a “matter of outrage that the BDS movement that campaigns against the government of Israel for its acts of discrimination and brutality against Palestinians should be held up as something shameful and unjust”.

The 46-years-old author ‘s statement was shared on Twitter, “It is a matter of great sadness to me that a jury should bow to pressure and withdraw a prize from a writer who is exercising her freedom of conscience and freedom of expression,”

Kamila Shamsie was born and grew up in Karachi before shifting to London. She has authored several fiction novels, including Broken Verses, Burnt Shadows, and House Fire.


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