Chicago publisher Haymarket Books expects to put on hold a book tour for Omar Barghouti scheduled for April because the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem has denied him a visa to enter the country. Barghouti, the founding member of the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment, Sanction Campaign, is the author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. The book is being released in April with a 4,000-copy first print run.
If Barghouti is not able to obtain a visa, the lack of a tour will hamper sales, but Haymarket said more is at stake than selling copies of a book.“We care that one of our authors is effectively being denied the right to speak to audiences in the United States,” said Haymarket publicity director Sarah Macaraeg. Haymarket is working with other sponsors of Barghouti's tour to ask the State Department and U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to grant the visa.
Barghouti is scheduled to make stops in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, as well as at Brown, Yale, and other universities, on the first leg of the tour. Ten events are scheduled to date. His first stop is an appearance, co-sponsored with Verso and Nation Books, in New York City April 9, and his last an appearance at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC April 15. Haymarket is also planning on sending him to the West Coast for the second leg of the tour in June, contingent, of course, on his obtaining a visa.
Macaraeg told PW that the press expects to sell 50-100 books at each event at which Barghouti appears. “Omar is an incredibly dynamic speaker,” she said, “And publicity, particularly feature interviews, hinge upon personal appearances.”