Saudi novelist cancels Qatar trip amid row

March 10, 2014 - 4:23:58 am

DOHA: Popular Saudi novelist Abdo Khal (pictured), the first Gulf national to win the International prize for Arabic fiction, has reportedly cancelled his scheduled trip to Doha following the ongoing diplomatic row. Khal was supposed to attend an ‘honouring ceremony’ in Doha next week. “Going to Qatar now is not fit in light of the political crisis,” Gulf News quoted him as writing in a Saudi news site Sabq .

“Organisers had planned two evenings of activities for me, but with the dramatic political events unfolding and the withdrawal of the Saudi ambassador from Qatar, it is not proper for me to go to Doha amid this tension,” he said.

Khal said that he had not been instructed or ordered by anyone not to travel to Qatar. “There was no instruction whatsoever from anyone not to go and there was no decision by the Qatari authorities not to allow me to take the prize. This is a personal decision”.

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation published Khal’s book Throwing Sparks in 2012. The Peninsula

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