Doha Film Institute declares solidarity with Palestine, cancels 11th Ajyal Film Festival

Doha Film Institute declares solidarity with Palestine, cancels 11th Ajyal Film Festival

QLNews
By QLNews

The Doha Film Institute (DFI), organisers of the annual Ajyal Film Festival,

has announced it is cancelling the 11th edition of the event, which was set to take place in Doha from November 8 to 16.

Organisers said the event’s cancellation was a significant expression of solidarity with the beleaguered Palestinian community in the Gaza Strip, who are under siege from Israel.

“In solemn solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, we at the Doha Film Institute (DFI) will be cancelling this year’s edition of the Ajyal Film Festival,” read a statement from DFI.

“As those of you familiar with the Festival have come to know, Ajyal as an event is much more than an annual celebration of the art of storytelling. At its heart, Ajyal is a grassroots event that is created and delivered by the community, for the community.

“At this time, we are grieving alongside the community within our region and are devastated by the staggering daily loss of innocent lives. It is simply not a time for celebration, it is a time for focused and intentional action,” said the organisers.

“Since its inception, DFI has championed voices from underrepresented communities worldwide with the aim of bringing a balance in narratives to the world of storytelling. Amplifying Palestinian stories has always been crucial in our work as a cultural organisation.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to empowering their authentic representation and stand firmly for the accurate portrayal of their experiences and humanity,” read the statement.

The DFI said it would use its resources to explore new avenues to expand the reach of Palestinian voices around the world.

“In this spirit, in lieu of delivering this year’s edition of the Ajyal Film Festival, the Institute will be exploring new avenues to use our platform to expand the reach and volume of Palestinian voices worldwide. The time for meaningful action is now, and it is more important than ever for us to continue to serve as a conduit for their unfiltered narratives to be heard, recognised, and respected.

“With resolve and with your support during this critical time, we look forward to standing together in the pursuit of a peaceful and just future,” the statement said.

Powerful Qatari voices had come out in support of the Palestinian people and their suffering at the hands of Israeli oppressors.

Qatar Foundation and Education Above All Foundation Chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser had called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and urged humanitarian aid to be allowed into the region. She was speaking after an Israeli bombing had killed nearly 500 people at the Al Ahli Hospital in central Gaza.

QF Vice Chairperson and CEO Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani had also thrown her full support behind the Palestinian cause, saying QF always has and always will stand with Palestine.

The Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Hospital for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics, built with Qatari help and support, was significantly damaged during Israeli bombings.

Israel has also been trying to suffocate the voice of international media reporting from inside the war-torn area. It has initiated moves to stop Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel from functioning within Gaza.

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