On Wednesday, Egyptian authorities prevented a Gaza poet from travelling to a poetry competition in Abu Dhabi, arguing security concerns. Suleiman al-Hazeen, from an-Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, was supposed to cross the Gaza-Egypt border to take part in the ‘Prince of Poets’, an annual competition that brings together poets from all over the world who recite in Arabic.

The Ma’an News Agency reported that al-Hazeen attempted to cross twice to get to the contest, but he was denied both times on the grounds of security concerns.

After knowing that he could not attend the competition in Abu Dhabi, Suleiman expressed disappointment, claiming that the decision was due to political reasons and argued he had no political affiliation.

Suleiman, who previously worked with Palestine TV, was also invited to take part in the 2008 edition of the ‘Prince of Poets’ but was also denied entry to Egypt.