CAIRO, June 1 (UPI) -- Egyptian authorities barred Egyptian writer Ali Salem from traveling to Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University.
Salem told UPI Wednesday authorities at Cairo's airport barred him from boarding a plane to Tel Aviv Sunday, telling him he did not have advance permission.
"Never before I had to ask for a permission to travel," he said.
Salem announced last week he was traveling to Israel to attend a Tuesday ceremony at Ben Gurion University in appreciation for his writings that promote human rights, peace and normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel.
Salem who visited Israel for the first time in 1991, was strongly criticized by Egyptian writers and intellectuals opposed to normalization with Israel. He was also expelled from the Union of Egyptian Writers for his writing in favor of normalization.