The jury withdrew its decision to give the literary award to Kamila Shamsie for supporting BDS Movement
The British-Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie was announced as the winner of Nelly Sachs Literature Prize 2019 by Germany for her outstanding literary work on 10th September 2019.
Sadly, Germany’s city of Dortmund’s jury has now withdrawn its decision to honor her with this award over her pro-Palestinian remarks.
Yesterday, the jury took this decision citing that Kamila Shamsie’ support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the reason. The BDS movement was organized by Palestinians to put international pressure on Israel to stop the violation of human rights in Palestine.
The jury stated that they were not aware of the author’s participation in the boycott measures against Israeli government when they announced her the winner.
With its vote for the British writer Kamila Shamsie as the winner of the Nelly Sachs Prize 2019, the jury honored the author’s outstanding literary work. At that time, 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.
The Nelly Sachs Prize is named after a Jewish poet and Nobel laureate and it is organized and funded by the city of Dortmund. It is awarded every two years, with the winner receiving a cash prize of $16,500.
After reversing its decision to honor Kamila with this award, the hurry stated that the 2019 award would not be handed over to any author. The next winner of Nelly Sachs Prize will be announced in 2021.
The statement reads:
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.
Kamila Shamsie has condemned this decision by Germany and termed it a “matter of great sadness”!
It is 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. 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.
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Every other day you will come across a #woman, who only has #freedom of speech unless she is saying what her superiors want her to say. More power to #KamilaShamsie for sticking to her stance instead of changing it for an award! . . . #beti #wherehaveallthedaughtersgone #womenempowerment #equality #inclusivity #femaleauthors #author #literature #literaryaward #politics #BDS #Palestine #Israel #Germany #Pakistan #nellysachs #pakistaniauthors #authorsofinstagram #feminist #misogyny #patriarchy
Born in Karachi, the London-based author, Kamila Shamsie has written multiple fiction novels. Her famous work includes Broken Verses, Burnt Shadows, and House Fire. Shamsie also won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018 and was long-listed for the 2017 Booker Prize.
Social Media Reacts after Kamila Shamsie Stripped of Germany Literary Award
More power to Kamila Shamsi https://t.co/Oe6hJyPu1G
— Sarmad Qureshi (@SarmadQureshi) September 19, 2019
I’m not overly familiar with Kamila Shamsi’s work but she’s definitely earned my respect as a human being.
— Usman Ahmad (@UsmanAhmad_iam) September 20, 2019
Season to honor and award mass murderers like Modi and revoke awards from luminaries like Kamila Shamsi
— Soofia (@MumtazSoofia) September 19, 2019
To raise a voice against violations of human rights of Palestinians or any other peoples is much more important than any award for personal accomplishments , God bless you Kamila Shamsi
— Mobin Khan (@MobinKh94129029) September 19, 2019
I salute to kamila shamsi for her support to Palestinians. She will be rewarded for her fiction by people of this globe.
— shabbir ahmed dar (@argusdoga) September 18, 2019
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