Kuwaiti player refuses to face Israeli opponent in chess championship
One of Kuwait's chess champions refuses to face an Israeli opponent, withdrawing from a chess championship in Spain.
Bader Al-Hajeri, a chess champion from Kuwait, withdrew from the Sunway International Chess Championship held in Spain on Tuesday, refusing to face an Israeli opponent.
Al-Hajeri, who had won first place in 2015's "San Sebastian" championship in Spain, rejected facing the Israeli settler in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Arab activists on social media praised the champion for "opposing Arab countries' normalization with the Israeli occupation" and "refusing to face an Israeli zionist settler", according to the Quds News Network.
In April, Kuwaiti fencing player Mohammad Al-Fadli also refused to face an Israeli player at the World Fencing Championships in Dubai.
In February, Kuwaiti engineer and inventor Jenan Al-Shehab officially withdrew her participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 after an advertisement entitled "Let's celebrate with Israel" was published on the exhibition's account. Al-Shehab responded through her Instagram account also by saying: “And Unfollow and I announce my withdrawal from Expo."
In January, 14-year-old Kuwaiti tennis player, Mohammad Al-Awadi left the international tennis tournament held in the UAE to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.
Kuwait has always upheld a strict pro-Palestine stance, refusing to normalize with the occupation. Kuwait's parliament passed a bill in May 2021 that prohibits dealing with "Israel" or participating in any kind of normalization with the occupation, with strict penalties for violators that include a fine not exceeding 5,000 dinars and between 1-3 years of imprisonment.