Omar Hazek has published two novels, and poetry in English and Arabic. He has used his writing and poetry to protest against his own, but also many others’ deprivation of freedom.
His fight against corruption in his country has led to further oppression; in 2013 Omar was sentenced to two years’ in prison for ‘protesting without permission’ in support of the family of a man who was beaten to death whilst in police custody.
During his imprisonment he was adopted by PEN International as an Honorary Member of Austrian PEN and Danish PEN, the organisation supports persecuted writers from around the world. A year after his release he was awarded the PEN International and Oxfam Novib Award for Freedom of Expression.
Omar was refused permission to travel to the Netherlands to accept the award. He was detained at Cairo airport, questioned, and later released, but banned from travelling.
With a focus on international writing and inspired by both the values set out by the City of Literature and by concerns relevant to a modern, diverse city, the Festival, taking place between the 8th – 13th of November, will stage conversations that explore inclusivity, displacement, alienation and ‘otherness’.
In association with English PEN, Nottingham Festival of Literature want to welcome Omar as their Virtual Writer in Residence, to welcome him to the city even though he cannot travel here.
We need your help to make this possible.
How you can help
All donations will help to secure several digital live events across the Festival. They will include one to one conversations with writers and a discussion with Tunisian activist and blogger Lina Ben Mehnni, who will also appear via videolink due to difficulties travelling to the UK.
Your money will go towards producing and marketing these events, and paying a fee to Omar and to all other artists involved. We are also hoping to commission a piece of work from Omar Hazek.
Thank you so much for your support
Supporting Omar Hazek and Nottingham Festival of Literature means you are also supporting the freedom of speech; you are supporting not only Omar’s voice, but many others’ that have been oppressed.
No amount of money or reward can truly realise the importance of this, but the Festival welcomes potential backers to take a look at the offered rewards.
Thank you, your generosity is immensely appreciated,
Nottingham Festival of Literature
Nottingham Festival of Literature is grateful for the support of Arts Council England and Nottingham City Council. More information can be found on our website: www.nottsfol.co.uk