Ali Abukhattab is a poet, literary critic, translator, dramaturge and journalist, he has been working in broadcasting and writes political and cultural essays. Abukhattab has published six books, written a children’s book and is represented in a number of literary anthologies, among them, Out of the Context of River (2005) and I will tell you about obsession (2012).
Together with his partner, Samah Mahmoud, Ali Abukhattab founded the cultural group Tajreeb in 2003, supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Gaza Centre for Arts and Culture. Tajreeb was closed down by Hamas in 2007, but was re-established under a different name, Utopia, in 2010. The group was formed to raise awareness about the value of knowledge and culture as a source of hope or at least a tool of survival for helping people to cope with storms and the vicissitudes of life, particularly in Gaza.
Ali and Samah were summoned for interrogation by Hamas authorities on a number of occasions for their writings and cultural activities, and received dozens of threats, including threats of attacks and accusations of being against Islam. They fled Gaza for Egypt in June 2013, where they stayed until their arrival in Molde in June 2015.