Doha’s 11th Ajyal Film Festival, which was to run Nov. 8 to 16, has been cancelled amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Qatar’s Doha Film Institute in a statement said it stood “in solemn solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters,” and decided not to go ahead with plans for this year’s event.
“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,” the Institute said.
Rather than hold the Ajyal festival, the Institute added it “will be exploring new avenues to use our platform to expand the reach and volume of Palestinian voices worldwide.” The Qatari cultural institution’s Ajyal festival, which has close ties to Palestinian filmmakers and others in the Middle East, is the latest event in the region to cancel plans due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on southern Israel that led to the death of around 1400 Israelis, and almost 200 Israelis were taken hostage in Gaza. In response, Israel has launched a formal war against the Hamas organization in Gaza as world leaders have stepped forward to defend the country’s right to defend itself.
The Cairo Film Festival cancelled its upcoming Nov. 15 to 24 event amid the ongoing Israel–Hamas conflict. And Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival, which was to kick off on Oct. 13, said it would delay its opening night to Oct. 27 amid escalating violence in the region.