Homeland, İnternational

Homeland, İnternational

‘Homeland’ Actor Mohammad Bakri Cancels Egypt Festival Visit Over Said Zagha Deportation

The acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker was to be honored with a lifetime achievement award at Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival.

10/20/2021 7:24:00 AM

Palestinian actor-director Mohammad Bakri, known for his on-screen work in ' Homeland and 'The Stranger,' has canceled his visit to Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival, citing the country’s decision to deport Brit-based Palestinian filmmaker Said Zagha

The acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker was to be honored with a lifetime achievement award at Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival.

has reached out to El Gouna organizers for comment.Bakri released a statement on Tuesday saying the incident prompted him to cancel his visit in protest. Bakri was set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the El Gouna festival on Wednesday.“I have decided not to go to the El Gouna Film Festival,” Bakri’s statement, released in Arabic, read. “Essentially, this was a reaction, in principle, to the mistreatment of Palestinian artists, regardless of their passport, whether it’s Jordanian, Palestinian, Israeli, or whatever. It is high time that Palestinians are granted full rights, like the rest of the world. This doesn’t only apply to Palestinian artists. I’m referring to all Palestinians.”

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Bakri continued that he has seen “my people stranded in airports all over the world, but especially in Arab countries … I’ve seen starved children with their parents, laying on the floors of airports. Sometimes they have to wait for days — not just one or two. I call on all authorities in the world, but especially Arabs, it’s enough. We’ve had it!”

Bakri cited the previous case of Palestine actor Ali Suliman (The Kingdom,Lone Survivor) who in 2018 was also turned back at the airport while en route to be a member of the jury at El Gouna.“I’m doing this to protest what happened with me previously and what happened with Ali Suliman as well. I’m also doing it to protest what happened with Said Zagha recently, who was detained for twelve hours and humiliated at the Cairo airport and eventually deported. Although this was the last straw for me, my objection is in more general terms. I’m objecting on behalf of every Palestinian in this world,” Bakri wrote. headtopics.com

Bakri said he doesn’t hold the El Gouna festival responsible for the incident but called on organizers to find out who was behind the deportation.“I respect the people who are in charge of the festival and I respect the festival’s decision to pay tribute to my work,” he noted. “[However] they have no power over port authorities. Maybe they shouldn’t invite people in the future and spare them the humiliation.”

Read more: Hollywood Reporter »

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