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Time magazine names Muna, Mohammed El-Kurd as among 100 most influential

September 16, 2021 at 11:13 am

Palestinian sibling activists Mona (background C) and Mohammed al-Kurd (background R) attend a hearing at Israel’s supreme court in Jerusalem on 2 August 2021, on the case of Palestinian families facing expulsion by Israeli settlers in annexed east Jerusalem. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Time magazine has named Palestinian twins and activists, Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The magazine said Muna and her twin brother Muhammad have become symbols of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evict Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd provided the world with a window into living under occupation in East Jerusalem this spring—helping to prompt an international shift in rhetoric in regard to Israel and Palestine,” the magazine wrote.

“Charismatic and bold, they became the most recognizable voices of those threatened with losing their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.”

“For more than a decade, the El-Kurd family, along with dozens of their neighbors in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, has been fighting against the possibility of forced removal from their homes by Israeli settlers,” it added.

In response to the announcement, Mohammed El-Kurd wrote: “My sister and I’s selection as  part of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ may be a positive indicator of the centralisation of the Palestinian cause in the global public sphere. However, the creation of symbols – which reduces the struggle of a whole people to a single face – is not enough.”

“What we are demanding is a tangible, radical change in the media system (including the Times) to end its Zionist bias.”

The list also includes current US President Joe Biden, his predecessor Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Nafatali Bennett. Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who is of Palestinian origin, was also named.